Taiwanese human rights activist to be sentenced at Chinese court Tuesday

The ruling could be seen as a reflection of the current cross-strait relations, said a scholar

Lee Ming-che’s wife, Lee Ching-yu

Lee Ming-che’s wife, Lee Ching-yu (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – After being detained by the Chinese authorities for over eight months, Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲) will be given a sentence for the charge of “subversion of state power” in a Chinese court tomorrow.

Lee's wife, Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), departed on Monday afternoon for Hunan Province, China to attend the trial. The Liberty Times reported that Lee Ching-yu received a call last Friday from a man who claimed to be the court-appointed lawyer of her husband.

The man told her the court would reach a verdict on November 28, and that she could attend the sentencing hearing.

Earlier the United Daily News quoted Tong Li-wen (董立文), a scholar from the Taiwan Thinktank, as saying that the ruling of Lee Ming-che would serve to reflect the cross-strait relations.

Tong said there is much flexibility in the Chinese jurisdiction. Since Lee’s case is politically sensitive, there is no surprise that the Chinese authorities will handle it politically.

Both the sentence imposed on Lee and the execution of that sentence could be seen as a reflection of the current cross-strait relations, added Tong.

According to Tong, if Lee receives a severe sentence, or if the sentence is relatively light but is executed thoroughly, it can be considered that the relations between the two countries have become more tense.

As to when Lee will be released and allowed to return to Taiwan, the scholar said it was too early to predict.

In addition, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping's claim during the Communist Party Congress that the Chinese government would respect the social system and ways of life of Taiwanese people, Tong said since the charge against Lee would never have been filed under the current Taiwanese jurisdiction, the truthfulness of Xi’s statement would be put to test with Lee’s final verdict.

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council issued a news release last Friday, calling for the Chinese authorities to reach an arrangement for Lee’s case based on a respect for mainstream values and human rights.

The council emphasized that Lee did not endanger the security and stability of Chinese society, adding that he merely shared the stories of Taiwan's democratic development with his Chinese friends.

The council also urged the Chinese authorities to reach a decision in line with the expectations of Lee’s family and Taiwanese people.

Updated : 2020-11-30 14:27 GMT+08:00