Fate of Chinese student in Taiwan who criticized Xi online uncertain

Chinese student who criticized Xi Jinping in live stream faces an uncertain fate

Li Jiabao.

Li Jiabao. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A Chinese student, who denounced China's President Xi Jinping during a live stream earlier this week, faces an uncertain fate after his Taiwan student visa expires in July.

Li Jiabao (李家寶), a Chinese exchange student at Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science in Tainan, took to live-streaming platform Periscope on Tuesday (March 12) to conduct a question and answer session he titled “Beijing High School Anti-Xi Alliance Meeting," in which he admonishes Communist Party General-Secretary Xi Jinping for declaring himself emperor for life.

In an interview with Formosa Television last night, Li started by saying, "When I decided to stand up to the tyranny of the Chinese Communist Party, I already made the determination that I would die." When the host of the show asked if he ever thought about the consequences of his criticism of Xi in the video, Li said, "I thought about it. Maybe it will cost me my life."

Although the school publicly denied doing so, Li said that professors from the International Department had spoken with him about the matter.

Although the professors expressed understanding and support for his actions, judging from their behavior during the discussions with him, Li felt they must be under a great deal of pressure. Li suggested that "This pressure probably came from China."

Li said that he had viewed many TV programs after he came to Taiwan, and he said he believed that Taiwan is a very free and democratic country.

At the same time, Li criticized China's collapse under Xi's heavy-handed policy, "because he is the last emperor of China." He also admitted that very few young people in China had ideas such as his, and those that do are afraid to speak out because of intimidation by the Chinese Communist Party.

Li said that the reason why he had such an idea and decided to stand up was because he was influenced by Taiwan's freedom. "Taiwan can have democracy and freedom. Why can't China?" he asked.

When asked by the host if he had ever thought about how he would go back to China, Lee said that his visa runs out on July 2, and if he returns to China, he is sure that he will be charged with many "pocket crimes."

He said he would likely be charged with crimes such as inciting subversion of state power or other "strange charges," which would "destroy his personality." Li closed by appealing to the Taiwanese government to swiftly "implement a refugee law as soon as possible," so others like him could seek asylum.

(CNA image)

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