Taiwan yesterday condemned the conviction of Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲) by a Chinese court, saying it is “unacceptable” that Lee should be found guilty of state subversion for advocating democracy and freedom.
“The nation cannot accept that Lee Ming-che has been convicted of such a crime as state subversion for sharing the ideas of democracy and freedom,” Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said, calling for Lee’s immediate release.
Lee’s case has greatly damaged cross-strait relations and threatened Taiwanese belief in freedom and democracy, Huang said.
Photo: AFP / Yueyang Intermediate People’s Court
The Mainland Affairs Council also condemned the verdict, saying Lee’s online exchanges with his Chinese friends were an innocent effort to share Taiwan’s democratic experience, which did not compromise China’s safety and security in any way.
It was also unacceptable that former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Wang Li-ping (王麗萍), who accompanied Lee’s wife, Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), to Yueyang, Hunan Province, to hear the verdict, was denied entry and deported, the council said.
China should ensure the safety of Lee Ching-yu and members of her group and their return to Taiwan, the council said.
It should also ensure Lee Ming-che’s health and right to family visits during his confinement, it said, adding that the government would continue its efforts to seek his return.
Politicians across party lines also condemned the verdict and urged the government to safeguard the rights of Taiwanese.
“There should not be, and could not possibly be, political prisoners in a truly democratic, free and law-observing country,” the DPP said in a statement.
The verdict “indicates China’s indifference to the universal values of democracy and human rights, and damages its international reputation, while hurting the feeling of Taiwanese,” the DPP said.
Beijing should respect Taiwan’s belief in democracy and freedom, as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) said during the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 19th National Congress last month, the DPP said.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said the council needs to step in wherever Lee Ming-che’s rights are compromised during and after the trial, even though cross-strait relations and communication have cooled since the DPP administration took office.
The DPP administration would be sacrificing people’s rights for its ideology if it fails to communicate with Beijing over Lee’s condition, KMT spokesman Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) said.
The New Power Party (NPP) urged the government to take a tougher stance against China as cross-strait agreements are ineffective in Lee’s case, and passivity would only compromise personal freedom and the freedom of expression of Taiwanese.
Lee Ming-che is innocent and the Chinese government is guilty of illegally detaining him, violating human rights and cracking down on political dissidents, the NPP said.
SOURED RELATIONS: Program director Jennifer Liu said the move to Taipei was due to a ‘perceived lack of friendliness’ from Beijing Language and Culture University Harvard University is to relocate its summer Mandarin program from Beijing to National Taiwan University (NTU) starting next year, a student publication reported on Thursday last week. Run at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) since 2004, the Harvard Beijing Academy is to become the Harvard Taipei Academy once it moves to Taiwan, Crimson magazine reported. Program director Jennifer Liu (劉力嘉) attributed the decision to a “perceived lack of friendliness” from the Chinese university, potentially due to shifting political winds. Liu told the magazine that BLCU in recent years had failed to provide a single dorm for the students or separate accommodation of
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday issued a rebuttal to former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who said a fistfight in the Legislative Yuan might have been “provoked from the outside” to destabilize Taiwan. Rice made the comment in an online discussion about the AUKUS alliance of Australia, the UK and the US hosted by the Policy Exchange forum in London on Thursday. On mention of Taiwan, she was quoted by The Australian as predicting that Beijing would use paramilitary forces and acts of sabotage to destabilize the nation. “There was a fistfight in the Taiwanese parliament a few weeks ago
ADVANCING TECH: With revenue on target to reach US$15.4 billion, the Hsinchu-based chipmaker said it is looking to produce 3-nanometer chips later this year Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday announced plans to build a new plant in Japan next year to produce 22-nanometer and 28-nanometer chips in its latest effort to expand its global manufacturing footprint. The Japanese fab is to start operations in 2024, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker said, ending months of speculation. “We have received strong commitment to supporting this project from our customers and the Japanese government,” TSMC chief executive officer C.C. Wei (魏哲家) told a quarterly investors’ conference. “We believe the expansion of our global manufacturing footprint will enable us to better serve our customers’ needs and reach global talent,
KNOWN ISSUES: Fire safety issues were found in the 40-year-old building, which previously housed a theater and restaurants, in 2019, last year and May, an official said Forty-six people died and 41 were injured in a building fire that raged out of control for hours overnight in Kaohsiung, authorities said yesterday. Flames and smoke billowed from the lower floors of the 13-story Cheng Chung Cheng (城中城) building on Fubei Road in Yancheng District (鹽埕), as firefighters tried to douse the blaze from the street and aerial platforms. The death toll rose steadily through the day as rescue workers searched the combined commercial and residential building. By late afternoon, authorities said 32 bodies had been found, while a further 14 people who showed no signs of life were among 55