Taiwanese warned about HK as visitor to Shenzhen held

Top News | Angel Kwan 12 Sep 2019

Mainland authorities have confirmed that a Taiwanese man who went missing after crossing to Shenzhen from Hong Kong last month has been detained for endangering national security.

Hours after the confirmation yesterday, the Democratic Progressive Party urged Taiwanese to avoid visiting Hong Kong due to "tough internal situations."

Taiwan's ruling party expressed "strong condemnation" of the detention.

"If you have to visit these areas, you must pay serious attention to safety and report your whereabouts to your families and friends at all times," the party said.

Taiwan urged Beijing to ensure the safety and human rights of Lee Meng-chu, 44, an adviser at Fangliao township in Pingtung county, southern Taiwan.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing, said Lee was being investigated for allegedly endangering national security.

The Taiwan Presidential Office said in a statement: "We are deeply concerned about the detention of our national Lee Meng-chu and have asked the Mainland Affairs Council and relevant agencies to negotiate in full force with the China side about the issue."

It added that the office would provide any help necessary.

Lee, 44, visited Hong Kong alone on August 18.

Fangliao's township mayor, Chen Ya-lin, told the Central News Agency that he had a phone conversation with Lee on August 20.

Chen said Lee told him that he was at the border of Hong Kong and heading to Shenzhen.

"PLA [People's Liberation Army] assembling here. The situation seems tense," Lee told Chen, before sending a photo of troops at the border.

Family and friends have not been able to contact Lee since then.

Chen said Lee went to Hong Kong for travel, but Lee was always concerned about the anti-extradition movement and had sent him pictures of protests on August 18.

Chen said Lee was supposed to fly to Indonesia to meet him for a conference.

Lee, who graduated from Long Island University in New York, has taken part in social movements for years and shared information about the Hong Kong protests on his Facebook page, according to Chen.

The Mainland Affairs Council said Taiwan has sent three requests to China about Lee, but no response nor details of the incident were given to Taiwan or to Lee's family.

angel.kwan@singtaonewscorp.com

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