Taiwan would give consideration to Hong Kongers who apply for residency in Taiwan under existing regulations, the Mainland Affairs Council said on Tuesday.

The law governing permits for Hong Kong residents entering Taiwan is capable of dealing with most applications filed by Hong Kongers, the council said after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier in the day said that Taiwan would provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers in Taiwan who are in need.

Due consideration would be given if applicants need special assistance, although the council has not yet received any such requests, spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said.

“Based on our humanitarian spirit and respect for human rights, the government would provide assistance to specific individuals on a case-by-case basis,” Chiu said, without specifying what kind of help might be available.

Under existing regulations, people from Hong Kong can apply for residency if they are studying in Taiwan, are related to a Taiwanese, are employed by the central or a local government or a university, have special skills, or have made a major contribution to Taiwan.

Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Chiu Ee-ling (邱伊翎) urged the government to establish a law covering asylum seekers that provides a systematic way to deal with such cases.

The group has said that the nation’s arbitrary system makes it very difficult for asylum seekers to find refuge in Taiwan.