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Taiwan urges China to face human rights issue

2012/05/03 21:21:11

Taipei, May 3 (CNA) China needs to speed up political reforms to maintain judicial integrity and protect human rights, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) urged Thursday after the dramatic escape of a Chinese human rights activist from home confinement.

One day after Chen Guangcheng left the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, where he had sought protection after fleeing house arrest on April 22, the MAC said China cannot ignore the value of human rights.

"China can't avoid dealing with the issue that is being upheld worldwide," said MAC deputy head Liu Te-hsun.

The blind activist's mistreatment represents a general problem in the Chinese society, Liu said, adding that more political reforms are needed.

Addressing Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in video message after fleeing from his hometown in northern China, the 40-year-old Chen claimed his family had suffered abuses, including illegal monitoring by local officials and violence.

Chen, a lawyer, asked Wen to ensure the freedom and safety of his family and fix the corruption in local governments.

Chen left the U.S. embassy on Wednesday after reaching a diplomatic agreement with Beijing, in which, according to U.S. officials, all sides agreed Chen would be allowed to stay in China with his family and treated as ordinary citizens.

But Chen later told the U.S. media that he changed his mind andwanted to leave for the U.S. with his family.

He also told the Associated Press that the only reason he left the U.S. embassy was because he was told the Chinese authorities would killhis wife if he refused.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)