China confirms detention of Taiwanese professor

Professor Tony Shih is awaiting trial in Beijing for alleged involvement in activities endangering China's national security

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — At a routine press conference, China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) confirmed the detention of a renowned and outspoken China-friendly academic, Tony Shih (施正屏), citing his involvement in criminal activities endangering China's national security as the reason.

LTN broke the news earlier this month that Shih, 56, a retired associate professor at National Taiwan Normal University, had been missing since August of 2018. Shih had been engaging in cross-strait academic exchanges and reportedly took a job at China Healthcare Enterprise Group Ltd. as the chief economist.

Shih wrote commentary articles for the Taipei-based Want Want China Times between 2016 and June of 2018 before vanishing in China.

At Wednesday's routine press conference, TAO spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said Shih along with Tsai Chin-shu (蔡金樹), the chairman of the South Taiwan Cross-Strait Relations Association, are both in detention awaiting trials for their engagement in activities that endanger national security.

Family members of Shih are said to be keeping silent to avoid further troubles.

Tsai went missing in July of 2018 after attending a food show in Quanzhou, Fujian, promoting cross-strait agricultural trade relations.

Another missing Taiwanese citizen, Morrison Lee (李孟居) was out of contact when traveling to Hong Kong for a vacation in August. Lee was said to have joined pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong at the time. Ma also confirmed that Lee has been detained for national security reason but didn't give further details about his case.