China’s Taiwan Affairs Office yesterday confirmed that Tsai Chin-shu (蔡金樹), chairman of the Southern Taiwan Union of Cross-strait Relations Associations, was “investigated” by Chinese authorities in July last year for allegedly engaging in activity that “endangers national security.”
Tsai’s family members were notified by authorities, office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said at a news conference in Beijing.
Media reports that contact with him had been lost were fabricated, Ma said, adding that the authorities handled the case with strict adherence to the law and guaranteed Tsai’s legal rights.
Screen grab from Facebook
The confirmation came after Shih Chien University chair professor Chiang Min-chin (江岷欽) on Sept. 12 said on a political talk show that Tsai had been taken into custody for “national security reasons” about half a year ago.
Tsai is an avid supporter of the pan-blue camp, but was still “locked up,” Chiang said.
The Straits Exchange Foundation on Sept. 13 said that Tsai’s family members in August last year told the foundation that they had lost contact with Tsai after he checked out of a hotel room in Xiamen, China, on July 21 last year, a day after he had traveled to Quanzhou to attend the Cross-Strait Food Fair.
The foundation immediately sent a letter to China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits requesting help in finding Tsai, but it said that it has yet to receive a “concrete response.”
Other unnamed sources said that Tsai was allegedly taken away by Chinese national security personnel on July 22 last year while making a connecting flight in Xiamen.
The most important task right now is to ensure Tsai’s safety, Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said yesterday.
Tsai’s safety is what his family members care most about, she said.
Tsai has “been missing” for some time, and the authorities have made the case a priority, she said.
“The Chinese government is mostly just politics and no rule of law,” she said.
Beijing’s claim that Tsai broke the law is “unconvincing” to Tsai’s family and the public, she said.
Officials have been instructed to gain an understanding of the situation as quickly as possible, she said, adding that the government’s determination to keep the public safe has not changed.
Tsai, 60, holds a master’s degree from National Sun Yat-sen University’s Institute of Political Science and a doctoral degree in regional economics from Xiamen University’s Graduate Institute for Taiwan Studies.
He is also the chairman of the Kaohsiung City Cross-Strait Relations Studies Association.
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