Two Chinese activists who spent more than four months trapped in limbo at a Taiwanese airport have been temporarily allowed to stay on the island, officials said Thursday.
Liu Xinglian, 64, and Yan Kefen, 44, spent 125 days marooned in the transit area of Taoyuan airport after they arrived from Bangkok in September last year.
The pair ran from China because of their political activism and were granted refugee status by the UN in Thailand.
But they fled once more after receiving repeated visits from police in Thailand, a country that has a track record of deporting dissidents back to China and does not recognise asylum claims.
The two men have pending refugee applications in Canada and were hoping Taiwan would allow them to stay while those claims were processed.
Immigration officials refused to grant them entry because they did not have a valid visa. But the democratically elected government in Taiwan was also wary of deporting them, leaving them trapped.