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MOFA urged to raise case of Taiwan activist jailed in China at APEC

2018/11/08 21:07:28

Taipei, Nov. 8 (CNA) Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Thursday it has asked the government to raise the issue of China's imprisonment of a Taiwanese activist, when Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders meet later this month.

At the urging of civic groups, the MAC said it has submitted a request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) for Taiwan's representative to the Nov. 12-18 summit to call on Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to release the activist, who has been in prison in China since December 2017.

The MAC said it will make every effort to help free Lee Ming-che (李明哲), a human rights activist who was detained in China in March 2017 and was sentenced to five years in prison in November that year on charges of "subversion of state power."

The MAC was responding to a proposal by several civic groups, which said at a press conference Monday that the Taiwan government should call on Xi at the APEC summit in Papua New Guinea to release Lee.

The proposal has been put forward by the MAC to the foreign ministry, MAC deputy chief and spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said, adding that if the matter is raised at the APEC meeting, it will call international attention to the human rights issues in China, including Lee's imprisonment.

The Taiwan government remains committed to seeking Lee's release and is coordinating with his family and civic groups to urge China to do so, Chiu said.

Lee is currently at a prison in Hunan Province, having been moved from one in Hebei last month, according to Chiu.

He said the MAC and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), a semi-official organization that handles day-to-day affairs with China, have been helping Lee's family to apply for permission to visit him and hope they can do so later this month.

(By Miao Zong-han and Evelyn Kao)