Missing Taiwanese activist possibly nabbed in Shenzhen, China

Taiwan has asked China for info regarding Lee Ming-chu, who has been missing since Aug. 20

Missing person Lee Ming-chu (R) and Fangliao Township Mayor Chen Ya-lin (L)

Missing person Lee Ming-chu (R) and Fangliao Township Mayor Chen Ya-lin (L) (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Authorities in Taiwan have asked the Chinese government for information regarding the whereabouts of a Taiwanese citizen who went missing during a trip to Hong Kong last week.

More information has been reported regarding Lee Meng-chu (李孟居), a resident of Pintung County’s Fangliao Township and political activist, who lost contact with family and friends on Aug. 20 during a solo trip to Hong Kong. The Liberty Times reports that Lee was spotted in Shenzhen on Aug. 19, the day after he attended a protest event in Hong Kong on Aug. 18.

It is now speculated that Lee was in Shenzhen on Aug. 19 and that he used his phone to photograph People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces that have amassed near the city's border with Hong Kong. Although ostensibly in Shenzhen for business or tourism, Lee may have been detained by Chinese authorities when attempting to re-cross the border into Hong Kong on Aug. 20, reports the Liberty Times.

Lee had been planning to fly from Hong Kong to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, for a conference on Aug. 27. Fangliao Mayor Chen Ya-lin (陳亞麟), who was in Indonesia awaiting Lee’s arrival, was the last person to speak to Lee in a phone conversation at approximately 10:00 p.m. on Aug. 20.

Just before the phone call, Lee sent the following photograph of PLA trucks outside a stadium in Shenzhen to Chen, CNA has confirmed. Although Lee did not specify who took the photograph nor when it was taken, it is now assumed that Lee was in the vicinity that Lee in the vicinity of the PLA troops prior to his disappearance.

Photograph of PLA trucks in Shenzhen sent to Chen Ya-lin by Lee (via CNA)

Chinese authorities have indicated that they have no knowledge of Lee or his whereabouts, reports Liberty Times. In a press conference Thursday night (Aug. 29), Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council urged Beijing and Hong Kong to assist in locating Lee.

The Central News Agency has drawn comparisons to the case of Lee Ming-che (李明哲), a Taiwanese activist who went missing in March of 2017 and is still being detained in China. In Lee Ming-che’s case, he was considered a missing person for two months before Chinese authorities admitted that he was in their custody.