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2019-10-09 HKT 18:44
Taiwan has expelled a mainland tourist for damaging a "Lennon Wall" that was put up in support of Hong Kong's democracy movement.
There has been widespread support in Taiwan for the unprecedented protests that have shaken the SAR for four months, but Beijing supporters have targeted rallies and installations backing the movement.
A mainland visitor, identified as Li Shaodong, was deported late on Tuesday for engaging in "criminal activities" after he was caught tearing up posters from a Lennon Wall on a university campus in Taipei on Monday, the National Immigration Agency said.
"Our government will not tolerate any illegal behaviour that damages democracy and freedom with vicious intentions," it added in a statement.
Li is now barred from visiting Taiwan for five years. This is believed to be the first deportation from Taiwan linked to the Hong Kong protests.
President Tsai Ing-wen has warned against any attempt to "provoke Taiwan's democracy and the rule of law", saying mainlanders who attack Hongkongers or damage Lennon Walls will be barred from entering Taiwan.
Tsai has also pledged to assist Hongkongers facing prosecution for involvement in anti-government protests who seek sanctuary in Taiwan, sparking a rebuke from Beijing to "stop meddling" in the affairs of Hong Kong. (AFP)