Thu, Jul 12, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Ma receives letter from US lawmaker calling for protest

SPEAKING OUT:Dana Rohrabacher said Bruce Chung should not have been arrested and Taiwan should not have remained silent over the incident

By Nadia Tsao and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, in Washington, with staff writer

A Representative from the US Congress yesterday sent a letter to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) asking for his administration to issue a strong protest again the arrest and abduction of Taiwanese Bruce Chung (鍾鼎邦) by the Chinese government.

Chung, a 53-year-old Falun Gong practitioner, was arrested by Chinese authorities in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, as he was about to return to Taiwan on June 18.

The Chinese government has said Chung is accused of “sabotaging national and public security.”

The incident prompted Chung’s family to appeal to the Ma administration for assistance. Falun Gong practitioners in the US have also been asked to actively mount protests and call for Beijing to release Chung from custody.

Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher, from California’s 46th District, sent the letter to Ma.

In his letter, Rhorabacher said Chung should not have been arrested and that Taiwan should not have remained silent when one of its citizens was illegally arrested in a foreign country.

Rohrabacher said he had been made aware of the “abduction” by Chinese security personnel as Chung attempted to board a plane back to Taiwan.

Some have voiced suspicion that Chung was detained because he is a Falun Gong practitioner, Rohrabacher wrote, adding that he hoped Chung would be released immediately.

However, the Taiwanese government has so far remained silent on the issue and not pressured Beijing to release Chung, Rhorabacher wrote.

As one of the founders of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, Rohrabacher said he had always believed that democracy and freedom were values shared by the US and Taiwan, a fact that gave legitimacy to the special relations between the two nations.

“I encourage the Taiwanese government to strongly protest Chung’s illegal detention with the Chinese authorities and all religious and political persecution by Beijing,” Rhorabacher said in his letter.

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