Mon, Dec 17, 2018 - Page 2 News List

Chinese student missing after Indonesia excursion

Staff writer, with CNA

A Chinese graduate student at Taiwan’s National Tsing Hua University went missing during a snorkeling excursion off the Indonesian island of Gili Air, a local search and rescue team said.

Zhang Qiujue (張秋玨), 26, who was studying at the university’s Institute of Sociology and Anthropology, was reported missing on Dec. 9 off the coast of Lombok, the university’s dean of student affairs Hsieh Hsiao-chin (謝小芩) said on Saturday.

Search efforts were continuing on Saturday targeting areas north and east of Gili Air, the Indonesian rescue team said.

It said that if they did not find her after seven days of searching, they would stop looking in accordance with standard operating procedures, although they might consider extending the search by three days.

Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) spokeswoman Kuan An-lu (管安露) said that it had informed its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), of the matter and asked the Taipei Economoc and Trade Office in Jakarta to provide assistance.

After the SEF received a report on the incident from the university, it notified the Ministry of Education, the Mainland Affairs Council and ARATS, Kuan said.

The SEF said that Zhang’s father was informed of the matter and traveled to the Indonesian island.

Zhang enrolled at the university in 2016 and was in her third year of graduate school, Zhang’s thesis adviser Chen Chung-min (陳中民) said.

According to Facebook posts by Zhang’s relatives and classmates, she left Taiwan on Nov. 30 and stayed at her home in Shanghai for one day before heading to Indonesia to attend activities hosted by her artist friends in the country.

Her relatives’ last contact with Zhang was on Dec. 7.

Asyraf, a Moroccan friend, Zhang and another tourist went snorkeling on Dec. 9, but when Asyraf returned to the beach, he did not see Zhang, finding only her clothing, bag and mobile phone, a Facebook message said.

Asyraf reported the case to Indonesian police after he went to the home of Zhang’s host family in Indonesia and failed to find her.

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