DPP urges Taiwanese to avoid Hong Kong, China after man held

TAIPEI • Taiwan's ruling party has urged Taiwanese to avoid visiting Hong Kong after a man from Taiwan was detained in China on state security charges.

China said Mr Lee Meng-chu, an adviser from a small township in Taiwan who had been missing since Aug 19 after travelling to the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, was suspected of "engaging in criminal acts that endanger state security".

Mr Lee had distributed photographs of Hong Kong's protests and Chinese troops gathering on China's border with the city before his disappearance, Taiwan's official Central News Agency reported.

"The Democratic Progressive Party urges citizens to avoid visiting Hong Kong and China due to tough internal situations," Taiwan's ruling DPP said in a statement.

It expressed "strong condemnation" of Mr Lee's detention.

"If you have to visit these areas, you must pay serious attention to safety, and report whereabouts to your families and friends at all times," the DPP said.

In Beijing, Mr Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China's Cabinet-level Taiwan Affairs Office, said Mr Lee was being investigated "in accordance with the law", but gave no other details.

The detention comes amid a delicate time for cross-strait relations with the protests in Hong Kong posing the biggest challenge to China's rule of the semi-autonomous city since its return to Chinese rule in 1997.

China, which claims self-ruled Taiwan as its own, has suggested the island could be ruled under a formula similar to Hong Kong's "one country, two systems" arrangement.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2019, with the headline 'DPP urges Taiwanese to avoid HK, China after man held'. Print Edition | Subscribe