Wife of detained Taiwanese activist to head to Beijing

2017/04/04 17:47:11 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Wife of detained Taiwanese activist to head to Beijing

Taipei, April 4 (CNA) The wife of a Taiwanese human rights advocate who is being detained in China said on Tuesday that she was no longer prepared to wait for information about her husband and would go to Beijing next Monday.

Lee Ming-che (李明哲), a former Democratic Progressive Party worker, has been detained since March 19 for what Beijing describes as suspicion of endangering China's national security.

Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光), a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) under China's State Council, confirmed last Wednesday that Lee is being investigated for alleged involvement in activities considered detrimental to national security.

Ma said Lee was in good health, but did not disclose where he is being held.

Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), the detained advocate's wife, said at a press conference that she has already booked a 1 p.m. EVA Air flight for Beijing departing April 10.

After arriving in Beijing, she plans to call on the TAO and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, China's highest agency for both prosecution and investigation, and other agencies to ask to see her husband.

Lee emphasized that her trip to Beijing is not intended "to cause a scene."

She said the Taiwan government's two agencies responsible for mainland policies and day-to-day affairs - The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) - have so far been unable to provide her with any "meaningful information," or offer "solid and substantive assistance." They were even unable to ensure her husband received the medicine she wanted to send him.

"The Beijing government has also refused to provide clear information," she said.

"That is why I cannot wait any longer and have decided to go myself," she said.

Lee said that since announcing her plan to visit Beijing last month, she has been planning the trip, but the nation has been on holiday as a result of the extended Tomb Sweeping festival.

In addition, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) will not be in Beijing because of his summit meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at his Florida resort from April 6-7.

To avoid unnecessary speculation and hassle, Lee has decided to go on Monday.

Lee Ching-yu said after the end of the holiday, she will once again call on the MAC and SEF to seek "solid and substantive" assistance to make her trip more productive, or listen to them indicate "they are incapable of providing assistance or inconvenient to provide it."

Several civic groups spoke out in support of Lee Ching-yu on Saturday, calling for Beijing to release her husband, adding that the detention is only likely to make the people of Taiwan even more wary of Beijing.

According to Cheng Hsiu-chuan (鄭秀娟), president of Wenshan Community College in Taipei where Lee Ming-che is employed, Lee is a "clear thinking" staff member dedicated to democracy and human rights issues.

Lee often shared information online with his Chinese friends about Taiwan's transition to a democracy, Cheng said.

(By Liu Kuan-ting and Lilian Wu)
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