MAC issues China travel advisory in wake of activist arrest report

08/04/2022 06:48 PM
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Taiwanese activist Yang Chih-yuan. CNA file photo
Taiwanese activist Yang Chih-yuan. CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 4 (CNA) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has urged Taiwanese citizens to assess the risks of visiting China after Taiwanese activist Yang Chih-yuan (楊智淵) was reportedly arrested on national security and anti-secession charges in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province Wednesday.

The arrest of Yang, a 32-year-old pro-democracy campaigner and vice chairman of the independence-leaning Taiwanese National Party, was announced in a report on the state-run China Central Television (CCTV).

According to CCTV, Yang was taken into custody by the state security bureau in Wenzhou on Aug. 3 on charges relating to his activities in support of Taiwanese independence.

The MAC said they had yet to receive formal notice of Yang's arrest but warned Taiwanese nationals should exercise caution when traveling to China given the potential risks to their personal freedom and security.

The MAC added that they had asked China to adhere to the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement, and requested that Yang's right to a fair trial be guaranteed.

Yang's arrest has been viewed in some quarters as retaliation for U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recently concluded trip to Taiwan.

Seeing Pelosi's visit to Taiwan as a threat to China's sovereignty claims, Beijing has taken a number of countermeasures, including banning the import of certain food from Taiwan and scheduling live-fire drills in six maritime areas in the vicinity of the island from Aug. 4-7.

At least two Taiwanese nationals, Shih Cheng-ping (施正屏), a retired National Taiwan Normal University associate professor, and scholar Cheng Yu-chin (鄭宇欽), are currently imprisoned in China on national security and espionage charges.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) conveyed its ire over Yang's arrest in a statement issued Thursday morning, saying that it was a serious violation of human rights.

Regional harmony is the shared responsibility of its members, and the political disagreements across the Taiwan Strait should be addressed through interactions and dialogue conducted on an equal and rational basis, the DPP said.

(By Lu Chia-jung, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Ken Chao)


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