Chinese man swims seven hours to Taiwan’s Kinmen for freedom

Chinese man seized by Taiwan Coast Guard after attempting to sneak onto offshore island

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/08/10
By: Ching-Tse Cheng, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Li arrested by Taiwan Coast Guard in Kinmen. (CGA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese man claimed Sunday (Aug. 9) that he swam for seven hours from China to Taiwan's offshore Kinmen County in pursuit of the country's freedom and democracy.

As Taiwan braces for the impacts of the newly formed Tropical Storm Mekkhala, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said Monday (Aug. 10) that it had arrested a Chinese national for attempting to sneak into the country the day before. It said it received reports about a suspicious object floating in waters near Kinmen County Sunday morning and later identified it as a man from China's Sichuan province.

According to the CGA, the 45-year-old man, surnamed Li (李), claimed that he had left the Chinese city of Xiamen around 3 a.m. Sunday and swam for seven hours before reaching Kinmen. He explained that he could not stand the political environment in China and decided to take a risk to travel to the much freer Taiwan.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the CGA said Li has been placed in a designated facility to undergo quarantine for two weeks before being sent to prosecutors. Meanwhile, it said it needed more time to get clarification on Li's account.    [FULL  STORY]

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