MAC protests detention of Lee Ming-che, calls for talks

The Mainland Affairs Council strongly protested April 11 the detention of Republic of China (Taiwan) national Lee Ming-che and called on Beijing to immediately disclose his whereabouts, ensure his right to due process of law and allow visitation by family members on humanitarian grounds.

During an international news conference in Taipei City, MAC Minister Chang Hsiao-yueh said mainland China must enter into talks with Taiwan on the matter, as well as provide details of the investigation and give official notice under the Agreement on Joint Cross-strait Crime-Fighting and Mutual Judicial Assistance.

The government will leave no stone unturned in defending national dignity and the rights of the people, as democracy, freedom and human rights are universal values protected under the ROC Constitution, Chang added.

Lee, a curriculum manager at Wenshan Community College in Taipei, was reported missing after entering mainland China March 19 from Macau. During a regular news conference March 29, Beijing-headquartered Taiwan Affairs Office confirmed that Lee is under investigation for national security violation.

President Tsai Ing-wen and Premier Lin Chuan are keeping a close eye on the matter, and have instructed the MAC and all relevant agencies to offer full assistance in this regard, Chang said. To date, this includes collecting and forwarding Lee's medication, extending offers of legal counsel and making travel arrangements for the visitation of his wife.

On April 10, Lee's wife attempted to fly to Beijing but was advised while checking in at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport that her travel authorization had been cancelled by mainland Chinese authorities. Chang said this act discontented the family and further complicated the issue.

According to Chang, the MAC, Ministry of Justice, Criminal Investigation Bureau and Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation have repeatedly tried to contact mainland Chinese authorities through existing communication mechanisms and other channels to demand a full explanation of the case. But all of these overtures have been ignored, she said.

Cases involving basic human rights and personal safety should always take priority for Taiwan and mainland China absent political interference, Chang said, adding that the government will continue working tirelessly to arrange Lee's return to Taiwan at the earliest possible moment.

Source: Taiwan Today