MAC puts NGOs working in China on high alert

2017/08/29 18:50:28 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 29 (CNA) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) is warning local NGOs operating in China to be on high alert following Beijing's increased scrutiny of foreign non-governmental groups, a report from the latest meeting of advisors to the council published on Tuesday revealed.

According to the report, the meeting focused on what NGOs can learn from the Lee Ming-che (李明哲) case, in which Lee, a Taiwanese human rights activist, was detained in China on charges of "subversion of state power" on March 19 this year.

Council members attending the meeting said NGOs operating outside the fields of poverty relief and community development face an increased level of risk working in China and should be more vigilant.

These risks stem from a new law which came into effect on Jan. 1, subjecting foreign NGOs to close government scrutiny with stringent registration and reporting requirements.

The law gives the Chinese police a wide range of powers to question foreign NGO workers, inspect their offices, review their documents and even confiscate premises and assets, according to international media reports.

Lee remains in detention in China, and the authorities have disclosed very few details about his case and physical condition.

The MAC is urging Taiwanese NGOs to comply with Beijing's latest requirements and indicates the Taiwanese government should deal with the Lee situation very carefully.

MAC advisors noted that similar detentions could take place in the future and suggested that Taiwan's government plan for such eventualities.

(By Miao Zhong-han and Kuan-lin Liu)

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