67 Taiwanese missing in China since Tsai took office: agency

09/19/2019 12:01 PM
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SEF spokesperson Tsai Meng-chun
SEF spokesperson Tsai Meng-chun

Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) Taiwan's semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) said Wednesday it has received 149 reports of missing Taiwanese since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office May 20, 2016, of whom the whereabouts of 67 remain unknown.

SEF spokesperson Tsai Meng-chun (蔡孟君) announced the revelation at a routine press conference. According to Tsai, they could be detained, or have been injured or died in China.

Asked by reporters on the whereabouts of Lee Meng-chu (李孟居), a township adviser who has been reported missing in Hong Kong since late August, Tsai Meng-chun said the SEF has sent four requests to China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) for information concerning the man, but to no avail.

In the case of another Taiwanese citizen, Tsai Chin-shu (蔡金樹), who has not been heard from for more than a year since he went to Xiamen in July 2018, Tsai Meng-chun said the SEF immediately asked ARATS to help locate the missing person, also with no reply.

Tsai Chin-shu is chairman of the South Taiwan Cross-Strait Relations Association, which promotes cross-Taiwan Strait interaction.

Tsai Meng-Chun urged the Chinese authorities to provide information regarding all of the missing Taiwanese.

Chen Ya-lin (陳亞麟), chief of Fangliao Township in Pingtung County, said Lee was supposed to meet with him in Indonesia to attend an international meeting Aug. 27 but never showed up.

Chen feared that Lee's disappearance could be related to him showing sympathy toward Hong Kong protesters on social media.

The 44-year-old Lee had previously expressed support for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong on his Facebook page, according to Chen.

China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said Sept. 11 that Lee is being questioned by the Chinese authorities for alleged "criminal activities that could jeopardize China's national security." But Ma did not elaborate on the accusation raised against Lee nor on his whereabouts.

(By Miao Zong-han and Chung Yu-chen )


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