Taipei, Taiwan independence advocate and a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) Kao Chun-ming died Thursday at the age of 90, according to PCT general secretary Lyim Hong-tiong
A native of Tainan, Kao remained a vocal supporter of human rights activists during Taiwan's martial law period and the cause of Taiwan Independence until late in life.
In 1979, he helped pro-democracy activist Shih Ming-teh who later became chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), escape arrest during the Kaohsiung Incident, a protest that was brutally cracked down on by the government of late President Chiang Ching-kuo
Kao was subsequently arrested in 1980 and sentenced to 7 years in prison.
According to the PCT, he served as the church's general secretary from 1970-1989.
The reverend was one of the highest-profile participants in Taiwan's democratization movement and independence campaign throughout his life.
On Thursday, Lyim texted a message to PCT members vowing to continue Kao's mission of "making Taiwan a new and independent nation."
President Tsai Ing-wen was saddened to learn of Kao's passing, saying his death was a great loss for Taiwan, Presidential Office Spokesperson Xavier Chang said in a statement.
Kao devoted his entire life to the issue of Taiwan's sovereignty, DPP lawmaker Hsiao Bi-khim said.
His perseverance touched the hearts of many people in Taiwan, she added.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel