Dear President Xi Jinping (習近平),
The undersigned are international scholars and writers from nations around the globe. We hereby express to you our deep concern about the disappearance of Lee Ming-che (李明哲) from Taiwan. Lee is a respected human rights worker, who in the past worked for the Democratic Progressive Party and who is now a program manager at Wenshan Community College in Taipei.
Lee disappeared on Sunday, March 19, when he entered China from Macau. It was not until March 29 that PRC authorities stated in a routine press conference that Mr Lee had been detained under circumstances that remain unexplained. This failure to notify the family within 24 hours violated both Mr Lee’s human rights and the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement (海峽兩岸共同打擊犯罪及司法互助協議).
We are particularly concerned by the fact that the Taiwan Affairs Office announced on March 29 that Lee was being investigated on suspicion of “involvement in activities that threaten national security.”
We find this allegation to be at severe odds with the fact that Mr Lee is a human rights worker who attempted to enhance communication between people in Taiwan and China.
We are also disturbed by the fact that on April 10, the Chinese authorities prevented Mr Lee’s wife, Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), from boarding a flight to Beijing by cancelling her “Taiwan compatriot travel document.” This action also disregarded the human rights of this young couple and raises substantial doubts about the intentions of the Chinese authorities.
As is becoming clear, Mr Lee’s arrest and detention is detrimental to the mutual trust that is very much needed between Taiwan and China. We therefore urge you to assist in the speedy release of Mr Lee and his safe return to Taiwan.
Any lengthy detention or legal procedure will damage China’s image, not only in Taiwan, but in countries around the world that uphold due process of law and human rights.
Clive Ansley, Joseph Bosco, Richard Bush, Coen Blaauw,
Jie Chen, Wen-yen Chen,
Louisa Chiang, Michael Danielsen, Evan Dawley, June Dreyer, Feng Chongyi,
Carl Ford, Brock Freeman,
Edward Friedman, Mark Harrison, Michael Hoare, Thomas Hughes, Victoria Hui,
Michael Hunzeker, Sasa Istenic, Bruce Jacobs, Paul Jobin, Richard Kagan, Michael Y.M. Kau, Han-jung Ko, Raymond Kuo, Lut Lams, Perry Link, Ben Read, Shawna Yang Ryan, Michael Scanlon, David Schak,
Jonathan Schwartz, Scott Simon, Michael Stainton,
William Stanton, Peter Tague, Kharis Templeman, Ross Terrill, John Tkacik, Arthur Waldron, Gerrit van der Wees, Jack Williams, Yenna Wu
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday last week met with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) at an APEC summit in Thailand. The meeting made front-page news in Japan the following day. Three years ago, when then-Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe visited Beijing to meet with Xi, no one questioned Abe’s attitude toward China, as the conservative parties in Japan had been spearheaded by Abe. However, Kishida could easily be labeled as pro-China, as he hails from Hiroshima — a place known for its anti-war, anti-nuclear movements — and was once the director of the Japan-China Friendship Association of Hiroshima.
Superman’s latest flight took him halfway across the world. After an uncertain free agency, superstar former NBA center Dwight Howard finally and surprisingly settled on Taiwan’s T1 League, where the Taoyuan Leopards have welcomed him with open arms and plenty of photographs. In the two weeks since the team announced their latest addition, Taiwanese media and fans have barely been able to contain their excitement. A livestreamed video of Howard visiting a Taoyuan night market and trying chicken butt on a stick (“This is some good-ass chicken!”) not only got thousands of views and extensive media coverage in Taiwan, but
It is quite the irony when former British prime minister Boris Johnson — a buffoon who for far too long was taken seriously — is branded a buffoon for saying something deadly serious. Following Johnson’s withering criticism of China at a business forum in Singapore on Wednesday last week, the event’s organizer, Michael Bloomberg, apologized to attendees, saying that Johnson was “trying to be amusing rather than informative and serious.” However, Johnson’s characterization of China as a “coercive autocracy” that had showed “a candid disregard for the rule of international law” was spot-on. His comments evoked the wisdom of the Austrian-British philosopher
As campaign fever for tomorrow’s local elections turns white hot, supporters of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) have been going head to head on social media. The latest row was triggered by a Facebook post on Nov. 13 by songwriter and KMT supporter Liu Chia-chang (劉家昌), who rebuked United Microelectronics Corp founder Robert Tsao (曹興誠) for advocating independence. “Although you regained your ROC [Republic of China] citizenship after returning from Singapore, you continue to help the green independents by guarding their flank,” Liu wrote, adding that it was an “insult to the nation.” “When [KMT