The Legislative Yuan should pass a “China human rights act” to institutionalize a response mechanism for Taiwanese arbitrarily arrested in China, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) said yesterday.
The arbitrary arrest of college lecturer Lee Ming-che (李明哲), a human rights advocate and former Democratic Progressive Party employee, highlights the worsening human rights situation in China, and Taiwan should be equipped with the necessary legal tools to respond to the violation of the rights of Taiwanese in China, the TSU said.
The government should draft a “China human rights act” to manage the risks posed by China’s abuse of human rights to protect Taiwanese and their property and uphold to the values of democracy and freedom, the TSU said.
Taiwan should also publish regular reports on human rights conditions in China to familiarize the public with Beijing’s rights violations and their associated risks, it said.
A standard response mechanism should be established for Taiwanese being arbitrarily detained or arrested in China and for those whose rights have been violated, and there should also be regulations to ban and deport Chinese “human rights villains,” the TSU said.
The government should also do more to support and protect the victims of China’s political repression, the party said.
“The TSU has frequently reiterated its opposition to any dealings with China because it is an authoritarian regime that has acted aggressively toward Taiwan,” TSU Chairman Liu I-te (劉一德) said.
“Any dealings with China are like negotiating with a tiger,” Liu added.
There are more than 400,000 Taiwanese working in China, while more than 3.6 million Taiwanese visit China every year, according to statistics from the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, the TSU said.
“Those people are exposed to a high level of human rights risks. The government cannot be complacent about the risks associated with the large number of its citizens visiting or residing in China,” Liu said.
The former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration deliberately downplayed the risks associated with China’s authoritarianism, which, coupled with Beijing’s propaganda in recent years, has decreased public awareness of human rights violations in China, the TSU said.
Legislation is needed to again alert the public to the risks of dealing with China, the TSU said.
Lee was reported as missing last month after entering Guangzhou from Macau. His wife has said that that his trip was aimed at sharing Taiwan’s democratization experience
China has been detaining him incommunicado and has only said that he was being investigated for engaging in “activities endangering national security.”
It has yet to announce charges against him.
Additional reporting by staff writer