Taipei, March 30 (CNA) Taiwan's Cabinet on Thursday expressed regret that China had not offered an explanation of the disappearance of Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (???), who Chinese authorities said was being investigated on suspicion of endangering their country's national security.
Lee has not been in contact with anyone in Taiwan for 12 days since he entered China, yet Beijing has not given any details of its investigation or of Lee's whereabouts, despite repeated calls in the public and private sectors in Taiwan to do so, Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (???) said at a press conference Thursday.
"Our government finds that deeply regrettable," Hsu said. Lee, a staff member at Wenshan Community College in Taipei and a former Democratic Progressive Party worker, disappeared on March 19 after entering China from Macao.
On Wednesday, China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (???) disclosed that Lee was being investigated "on suspicion of endangering national security," and was "currently in good physical condition."
In Hsu's statement Thursday, he said the Taiwan government will continue to seek answers from China through various channels on where Lee is being held, what laws he has violated and for how long his personal freedom would be restricted.
He called on China to protect Lee's rights and quickly communicate with Taiwan on the incident to avoid compounding the already "complicated and sensitive relations" across the Taiwan Strait. China is also urged to quickly arrange for Lee's family and lawyer to visit him to safeguard his rights, Hsu said.
On Tuesday, Lee's wife said in a brief statement to the press that she had received word from Taiwan "government sources late Monday night" that her husband had been detained by Chinese security authorities.
She said she had asked Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) to send medicine and money to him. The SEF is a semi-official organization charged with the handling of Taiwan's relations with China in the absence of official ties between the two sides.
Hsu on Thursday rejected criticism that the Taiwan government had not been proactive enough in its handling of the incident.
In any action that it takes, the Taiwan government has to give priority to Lee's safety and rights, Hsu said.
(By Ku Chuan and Christie Chen)
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel