The Chinese government has sentenced a Taiwan activist to five years in prison for trying to “subvert state power”. The allegations were levied on Lee Ming-che who was put on trial in September for allegedly promoting multi-party democracy in mobile messaging applications.
However, China’s imprisonment of the activist has enraged many Taiwanese who are now calling for Mr Lee’s safe return. This latest brush of power with China has again created a discord between the two countries.
Taiwanese president, in a official statement from his office, said that they could not accept the sentence. “We cannot accept this,” BBC quoted the presidential office as saying.
According to the BBC, the case has stirred unrest in Taiwan from March when the human rights activist disappeared while travelling in China. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that Chinese authorities had imprisoned the activist.
Lee has been accused of trying to “attack” the Chinese government and promoting “Western-style democracy” on social media sites and mobile messaging platforms, confirmed the BBC.
“It is regrettable that the Lee Ming-che case has seriously damaged cross-strait relations and especially challenged Taiwanese people’s persistence and ideals for democracy and freedom,” Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen said.
Amnesty International’s William Nee told reporters that the development was “absolutely outrageous”. China, meanwhile, has left no stone unturned on cracking down upon democratic principles.
China’s relationship with Taiwan has deteriorated considerably in the last two years. Chinese military intervention in Taiwan falls in line with the anti-secession law which gives China the upperhand in using force if peaceful resolution is not reached. According to the Wikipedia, the PRC supports a version of the One-China policy, which states that Taiwan and mainland China are both part of China, and that the PRC is the only legitimate government of China. It uses this policy to prevent the international recognition of the ROC as an independent sovereign state, meaning that Taiwan participates in international forums under the name “Chinese Taipei”