Police to step up security ahead of Chinese activist's visit

Taipei, June 23 (CNA) Extra precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, who is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on Sunday for an 18-day visit, according to police. Taiwanese police will help implement the necessary security measures during Chen's stay in Taiwan, after the trip's organizer -- the Taiwan Association for China Human Rights -- said it received threats about pro-China groups planning to hold protest and even attack him. Similar security measures will be in place when Chen visits Taichung and Kaohsiung during his trip, officials added. Some of these pro-China groups have been driving around in campaign trucks to promote their ideas around the location where Chen is scheduled to meet with the global press in Taipei on Monday, police noted. The Chinese activist is also scheduled to unveil his new book, "China, the Book of Living and Dying," at another press event in Taipei on June 27, according to organizers. Chen, 41, is a self-taught lawyer, who was placed under house arrest in his hometown in the Chinese province of Shandong for his efforts to defend human rights. However, he escaped unnoticed in April 2012. He fled to Beijing and sought refuge at the United States Embassy in China, which led to a diplomatic tussle at the time between the two countries. Chinese authorities later agreed to let him leave the country for the United States in May 2012. The Chinese activist has been living in New York with his wife and two children since then. (By Lin Chang-shun and Kay Liu)