Taiwanese authorities have asked their residents to exercise increased caution when travelling to Hong Kong after some tourists from the self-ruled island reported being stopped and searched by local police for no apparent reason.

A statement released by Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council on Tuesday also urged residents to carry their passports and visas with them at all times.

“Recently, there have been many cases of [Taiwanese] people being stopped and questioned by the Hong Kong police on the streets and subways of the city, requiring them to show their identification documents and searching their bags,” it said.

“According to the local laws of Hong Kong and Macau, police officers may, at any time and place, stop and request identification from a person behaving suspiciously.”

It explained that failure to produce relevant documentation could lead to further searches.

The council stated that “due to the implementation of Hong Kong’s ‘Safeguarding National Security Ordinance’ and the ‘Hong Kong national security law’, the risk of travelling to Hong Kong and Macau has increased”.

Last week, Taiwanese media reported several cases of travellers being stopped and searched by police in Hong Kong.

Tuesday’s warning on Hong Kong travel came just days after Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council also cautioned Taiwanese to “think carefully” before visiting mainland China. Photo: Yik Yeung-man

In one case, a tourist claimed he had been arbitrarily stopped by several officers at Tung Chung MTR station in late May and that his bags had been searched while police took pictures of his passport with a mobile phone.

Another report described two friends who had been stopped on the street by officers, with one of them claiming they had been told: “I hope you don’t mind, there have been too many radicals in Hong Kong lately, take this as part of your experience.”

On Dcard, Taiwan’s Reddit-like social media platform, one internet user posted about his experience of visiting Hong Kong a few days before the Article 23 national security law was implemented in March.

The man recalled being stopped at the border when attempting to cross into Macau via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, where immigration officers brought him to a room and told him “not be nervous” as they conducted a “routine inspection”.

After going through his bags by “pouring out all its contents”, officers told the man he would be allowed to leave “after signing a paper”.

“It actually only took five minutes, but it felt like half an hour,” the man wrote. “I was so scared I would never be able to return home.”

Tuesday’s warning on Hong Kong came just days after Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chiu Chui-cheng also cautioned Taiwanese to “think carefully” before travelling to mainland China.

His office had confirmed at least two cases of Taiwanese travellers being strip-searched or detained while visiting the mainland for business and leisure.

One traveller, who was on the mainland with a tour group, was held for several days before being released.

The Post has contacted the Security Bureau, Immigration Department and police for comment.