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China denies entry to friend of Taiwan activist's wife

2017/11/27 23:04:19

Wang Li-ping (王麗萍, left) and Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜, front center)

Taipei, Nov. 27 (CNA) China has abruptly revoked the entry permit of former Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Wang Li-ping (王麗萍), who accompanied Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜) to China to hear the ruling in a court case involving Lee's husband.

The incident occurred when Lee, Wang and three others arrived at Huanghua International Airport in Changsha in Hunan province on Monday evening, ahead of the announcement of the verdict in a court in Yueyang, not far from Changsha, on Tuesday morning.

Wang was forced to fly from Changsha to Hong Kong International Airport and then take a 10:55 p.m. flight from Hong Kong to Taiwan that was expected to arrive at 12:35 a.m., according to Taiwanese nongovernment organizations (NGOs) advocating the release of Lee's husband, Lee Ming-che (李明哲).

In a statement released Monday night, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) expressed dismay and regret over the revocation of Wang's entry permit Monday evening and her forced deportation.

The MAC said it notified China in advance that Lee Ching-yu would be accompanied by Wang, the daughter of former DPP chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德) Shih Chia (施笳), and two officials with Taiwan's semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation.

China did not tell Wang that she should refrain from boarding because of any problems with her entry permit, the MAC said.

In a message to Taiwanese NGOs, Lee Ching-yu said Wang's entry permit was legal and valid, but China revoked her document and deported her when they were checked at immigration without offering any explanation.

Lee Ming-che is on trial in China for allegedly subverting the state. China said on Nov. 24 that it will deliver its verdict in the case on Nov. 28 at 9 a.m.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan)