Two criminal cases — one in China, one in Taiwan — show a deeper rift between the political systems

Los Angelese Times
Date: Sep 15, 2017
By: Ralph Jennings

Courts in China and Taiwan, rivals for 70 years, each took a criminal state-security

Zhou Hongxu, center, a Chinese student from Taiwan’s National Chengchi University, is escorted by police at the Taipei District Court on Sept. 15, 2017. (Sam Yeh / AFP/Getty Images)

case this week involving a suspect from the other side, and outcomes so far are baring schisms between the political systems that will complicate already strained relations.

A court in China’s Hunan province heard the case Monday against Lee Ming-che, a Taiwanese activist charged with subversion of state power. He faces 10 years in a Chinese prison if convicted of using social media since 2012 to advocate multiparty democracy for the Communist country.

On Friday, the district court in Taipei sentenced Chinese national Zhou Hongxu to 14 months in prison for endangering state security. The 29-year-old MBA holder tried to bribe a government worker to pass information to China, a court statement says.

These cases are reminders of the festering divide between Taiwan — with its 30-year democracy — and China’s Communist rule. In Taiwan, it raises support for its autonomy from Beijing and frustrates China’s goal of uniting the two lands. China claims sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan.

“These cases will remind people China’s not a free country ruled by law — maybe politically motivated — and people will ask the government here how to handle that,” said Gratiana Jung, senior political researcher with the Taipei think tank Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute.    [FULL  STORY]

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