Taipei, Aug. 29 (CNA) Taiwan on Thursday called on the Chinese government to provide information concerning the whereabouts of a Taiwanese citizen who reportedly went missing in Hong Kong last week, with his family and friends expressing fears that his disappearance may be linked to his support for the ongoing anti-extradition protests in the territory.
Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) urged Beijing to help find Lee Meng-chu (李孟居), an adviser to Fangliao Township in southern Taiwan's Pingtung County.
His family and friends said they have been unable to establish contact with him since Aug. 20.
Citing information provided by his family, Chiu, who also serves as the spokesman for the MAC, which oversees Taiwan's relations with China, said Lee lost contact with his family after he was scheduled to leave Hong Kong for the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on that day.
According to Fangliao Township Chief Chen Ya-lin (陳亞麟), Lee was supposed to meet with him in Indonesia to attend an international meeting on Tuesday but never showed up.
Chen said Lee, a Hsinchu-native who graduated from Long Island University, has been actively engaged in all kinds of social movements for years.
The 44-year-old Lee had previously expressed his support for the ongoing pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong on his Facebook page, according to Chen.
He feared that Lee's disappearance could be related to him showing sympathy toward the protesters in online social media.
Asked to comment, Chiu told reporters that the MAC would not speculate on the reason behind Lee's alleged disappearance for the time being.
The government agency said it had notified the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities about Lee's disappearance, but hasn't received any information on his whereabouts so far.
He called on the other side of the Strait to make information on Lee's whereabouts available to Taipei should they have any, in accordance with a cross-strait joint crime-fighting and judicial cooperation pact.
In March 2017, Taiwanese activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲) went missing in China.
The Chinese authorities, however, waited two months before confirming to Taiwan in May of that year that Lee had been arrested and detained.
Lee is now serving a five-year prison sentence after being convicted of subversion of state power.
His family insists on his innocence, saying he had simply shared Taiwan's experience in democracy with mainland Chinese people and that such actions should not constitute a crime.