Tue, Apr 11, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Government strongly protests Lee Ching-yu travel ban

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporterStaff reporter

The government yesterday lodged a stern protest against China’s last-minute revocation of Lee Ching-yu’s (李凈瑜) Taiwan compatriot travel permit, which prevented her from traveling to Beijing to seek the release of her husband, detained human rights campaigner Lee Ming-che (李明哲).

The Straits Exchange Foundation said in a media release that it was notified of China’s revocation of Lee Ching-yu’s “Taiwan compatriot travel document” yesterday morning, several hours before her scheduled departure on an EVA Air (長榮航空) flight in the afternoon.

Foundation Deputy Secretary-General and spokeswoman Lee Li-jane (李麗珍) said that the Chinese Ministry of Public Security had notified the National Immigration Agency of the decision.

The foundation said it had offered Lee Ching-yu assistance after learning last month of her plans to visit her husband in Beijing, including instructing foundation staff to accompany her on her trip, asking China-based Taiwanese businesspeople and associations to help with arrangements and notifying China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits.

“We deeply regret such a move,” the foundation said, urging Beijing to respond to Taipei’s and Lee Ming-che family members’ demands to prevent the incident from affecting already complicated and sensitive cross-strait relations.

China’s continued failure to do so would reinforce Taiwanese concerns that their rights might not be protected if they visit Beijing, the foundation said.

Despite Beijing’s obstruction, the foundation would continue to facilitate communications between China-based associations and Lee Ming-che’s family, it said.

The Mainland Affairs Council blasted Beijing’s revocation of Lee Ching-yu’s travel permit.

“Twenty-two days have passed since Lee Ming-che entered China on March 19 and lost touch with his family. However, Beijing has not only failed to make known the offenses he is accused of and where he is being detained, it has also sought to hinder his wife’s planned visit that should have been permitted on humanitarian grounds by rescinding a valid travel document issued by the Chinese government,” the council said in a statement.

Beijing’s behavior is counterproductive to assuaging public concerns and could have a negative impact on cross-strait ties, the council said, calling for Lee Ming-che’s immediate release.

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