Business Standard

Taiwan demands China disclose whereabouts of missing citizen


AP Taipei
Taiwan officials demanded Friday that China disclose information about the disappearance of a Taiwanese man who had reportedly distributed photos of Chinese troops massing equipment just outside protest-racked Hong Kong.
Friends and family have been unable to reach Lee Meng-chu, a volunteer activity organiser with a small township in southern Taiwan, for 10 days, the Taiwan government's Mainland Affairs Council said after receiving pleas for help from Lee's family members.
Communist Party-ruled China often detains people over political matters and may hold them in an unknown location for several months if they are suspected of threatening national security.
"He was able to be contacted while in Hong Kong and then unreachable once he entered mainland China," council spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng told reporters. "The main thing now is we need to understand his movements and

whereabouts, then eventually how to get him safely back to Taiwan." Lee entered Hong Kong on August 18, Taiwan's government-run Central News Agency reported.
He apparently transmitted photos to his brother and to the township chief showing the paramilitary troops massing equipment on the Hong Kong border with mainland China, the agency said.
The drills conducted in Shenzhen city fueled speculation China might use its People's Armed Police to crush repeated mass pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong.
Taiwan and China have had frosty relations since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s. China sees self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory, but most Taiwanese have told government surveys they prefer autonomy.
Further straining relations, Taiwanese officials have repeatedly spoken out in favor of anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong.
China is supposed to inform Taiwan when it detains Taiwanese citizens under an agreement reached in 2009. Taiwanese officials said Friday they had received no information on Lee's case.
Lee was part of a volunteer group for Fangliao Township, a fishing community in southern Taiwan, township secretary Lin Ta-min said Friday.
The native of Taiwan's Hsinchu county would gather information on Hong Kong and foreign countries at the town's request as part of its event planning, Lin said.
"Of course, we hope he can come back," Lin said. "At the start we told the Mainland Affairs Council to look for him." The town secretary said he had no information about Lee's schedule in Hong Kong or beyond.
In another recent case, Taiwanese rights activist Lee Ming-che disappeared in March 2017 on a trip to China and surfaced at a court hearing in the southern Chinese city of Changsha in September that year.
The 44-year-old activist who had discussed democracy with mainland Chinese on social media was sentenced to five years in prison for his activities.

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Aug 30 2019 | 6:00 PM IST

Explore News