Detention of NGO worker a serious warning: US China expert

China's detention of a Taiwanese NGO worker should be seen as a serious warning sign. That's according to Professor Jerome Cohen of New York University, an expert in Chinese law and an advocate of human rights in China.

Cohen was speaking Friday concerning the case of Lee Ming-che, a staff member at Wenshan Community College in Taipei and a former staffer for the Democratic Progressive Party. Lee went missing after entering Mainland China from Macao on March 19. Ten days later, it was confirmed that he is being held on suspicion of endangering national security. His whereabouts remain unknown. Chinese authorities have not confirmed the exact nature of the charge against Lee. It is suspected that Lee used social media to share content about Taiwan's journey to democracy with Chinese friends.

Professor Cohen believes Lee has become the first to fall foul of a new law on the activities of overseas NGOs in China. The law came into effect on January 1. Cohen says the action against Lee is not just a threat to Taiwanese NGOs but should be seen as a serious warning to any international NGO that works with China.

The Taiwan branch of Amnesty International also announced Friday that it has launched a letter-writing campaign calling on China to make the activist's whereabouts known.

Source: Radio Taiwan International