Thu, Apr 27, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Lee Ming-che ‘in good health,’ TAO spokesman says

Reuters, BEIJING

The Chinese government yesterday said that rights campaigner Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who has been detained on suspicion of endangering national security, was in good health and that it had reassured his family in a letter.

Lee is a staff member of Wenshan Community College in Taipei, a former Democratic Progressive Party employee and is known for supporting human rights. He went missing in China on March 19, and Beijing later confirmed his detention.

Lee’s case is still being investigated, Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) told a regular news briefing in Beijing.

“At present, Lee Ming-che’s health is good, and there are no concerns about medical care. He has clearly explained the relevant situation to his family in a letter,” Ma said.

Lee’s family and the government have been frustrated at not being told where Lee is being held, and Ma did not answer when asked about his location or give further details of the charges Lee could face.

Lee’s wife, Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), was barred from traveling to China earlier this month after saying she received the letter through unofficial channels and that she could not verify the letter was from her husband.

A potential diplomatic confrontation was averted last week, after a Chinese activist who had reportedly intended to seek asylum in Taiwan flew back home.

National Immigration Agency officials had apprehended Zhang Xiangzhong (張向忠) after he left his tour group and he requested political asylum.

The Mainland Affairs Council said that Zhang did not meet the requirements for “special long-term residency,” and that he left on Wednesday last week after his asylum bid was rejected.

Ma confirmed that Zhang had arrived in China and that authorities were investigating the case, but he gave no details.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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