Wife of detained Taiwan rights activist books flight to China

Lee Ching-yu to arrive in Beijing on April 10

Lee Ming-che's wife, Lee Ching-yu.

Lee Ming-che's wife, Lee Ching-yu. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The wife of former Democratic Progressive Party worker Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who has been detained in China since March 19, told reporters Tuesday she would travel to Beijing on April 10.

Lee, who works at a Taipei City community college, is known for his concern for human rights in China, but he was traveling from Macau to Guangdong Province to arrange medical treatment for his mother-in-law when he disappeared.

The Chinese government only acknowledged ten days later that he in fact had been detained, allegedly on suspicion of having involved himself in “activities harmful to national security.”

While there has been no official accounting on where Lee was being held, his wife, Lee Ching-yu (李淨瑜), announced Tuesday she was booking a flight for Beijing April 10 to go and look for him.

After arriving in the Chinese capital, she would visit the Taiwan Affairs Office, prosecutors and any other necessary departments, she said, emphasizing she was not traveling to China to create trouble or to protest. She had postponed her travel plans to avoid the April 1-4 Qingming holiday and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States, she said.

Lee said that Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council and Straits Exchange Foundation had been unable to come up with any plan to deal with the situation, and had not been able to deliver the heart pressure medicine she had given them for her husband. She would visit them within the coming days to see if they had any news for her.

Beijing was not divulging any useful information either, so she had decided she would book an EVA Air flight leaving Taiwan on April 10 at 1 p.m. to tackle the situation and find her husband herself. She had not yet booked a return flight, she told Tuesday’s news conference.