A Taiwanese man attending a board game competition in Wenzhou, China, has been arrested for being a “Taiwanese Separatist” as China attempts to strangle the democratic nation with a range of punitive economic sanctions, and a military exercise simulating the communist government’s ability to enforce a blockade of the island, cutting it off from the outside world.
According to Chinese state media, the National Security Agency of Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province arrested Yang Zhiyuan (楊智淵) Wednesday, and detained him on suspicion of endangering national security for “long-term engagement in Taiwan independence and separatist activities”.
The 32-year-old from Taichung City joined the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in 2008, but later quit and co-founded of the Taiwan National Party in 2011. Yang currently serves as the party’s vice chairman.
Yang is accused of being a long-time advocate of Taiwan independence and having founded a Taiwan Nationalist Party, which is illegal according to Chinese law. If convicted, he could face punishment of 10 years to life, or even the death penalty, reported the South China Morning Post.
Yang’s arrest comes immediately after Chinese authorities announced their intention to crack down on “Taiwanese separatists” in the wake of a visit to the island by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The Chinese Communist Party’s Taiwan Affairs Office released a statement that said “some stubborn Taiwan independence separatists” are “willing to be a pawn of foreign anti-China forces”, stirring up cross-strait confrontation and endangering peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
The goal of Yang’s political party is “promoting Taiwan to become a sovereign and independent country and join the United Nations” and advocating a “referendum on independence and forming a state.” “Taiwan independence diehards” who try their own way cannot escape the “severe punishment of national laws,” the TOA statement stated.
According to the Radio Free Asia, Yang was in Wenzhou, China, to participate in a competition for the strategic board game “Go.”
Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party said the case did not follow the “Cross-Strait Joint Anti-Crime and Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement” to inform us and the family members, and obviously there will be no guarantee of legal due process. For such a high degree of human rights violation, the DPP must express the most serious protest and condemnation, Taiwan’s Apple Daily reported.
“The DPP emphasizes that personal freedom and judicial human rights are the basic rights that a civilized country under the rule of law should safeguard. However, China, which claims to be a great power, has repeatedly abused justice and detained Taiwanese people on the grounds of national security. It has no concept of human rights and the rule of law. The performance of the guarantee fully proves that the existence of the CCP’s authoritarian regime is the greatest threat to democracy and freedom.”
The DPP called the series of actions taken by the CCP over the past two days “irrational,” and designed to extreme pressure on Taiwan with the use of malicious bullying to create psychological fear among the Taiwanese people.
“As a tool of political blackmail, it will only arouse the resentment and anger of Taiwanese society again,” the DPP said, as per the Apple Daily report.
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