TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The wife of jailed Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲) has received the necessary travel documents from China to travel there on March 26 and visit him, reports said Friday.
Lee, a former staff member of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, was detained when he crossed into China in March last year, supposedly for involvement in subversive activities, and sentenced to five years in prison at a widely criticized trial in November.
His wife, Lee Ching-yu (李淨瑜), will fly to Changsha, the capital of the province of Hunan, on March 26 and be allowed to visit him at the Chishan Prison the following day before returning to Taiwan on March 28, the Central News Agency reported.
Last year, she was allowed to attend his trial, though most of her other attempts to visit him failed as China refused to give her the necessary travel documents, leading her to be turned away at the airport.
The Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan’s ministry in charge of relations with China, reportedly received the message from Beijing that this time, she would be allowed to fly to Hunan. A representative of Taiwan’s semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation will accompany Lee Ching-yu all the way, CNA reported.
The timing of China’s sudden readiness to accept her visit was linked with the fact that the country’s major political events, including the National People’s Congress meeting which re-elected President Xi Jinping (習近平) and abolished term limits, were now over.