China condemned this Tuesday to five years in prison to the Taiwanese professor and human rights activist Li Ming-che, for attempt of "subversion of the state", in a case that tests already icy relations between Peking and Taipei. Li had disappeared in March during a trip to China and later reappeared in the hands of the police. Next to him he has been convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison another Chinese activist, Peng Yuhua, for the same offense.
Both had been convicted during their trial in the city of Yueyang, in central Hunan province last September. Then, the wife of the Taiwanese activist, Li Ching-Yu, who was present at the hearing, said he did not recognize the authority of the Tribunal.
The ruling against Li has provoked a vigorous condemnation of the party of President Tsai Ing-Wen in Taiwan, the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP). In a statement that considers the decision of the "totally unacceptable" tribunal, the PDP has demanded the return of the activist to the island and that, in the meantime, his health and the access of his family are guaranteed.
Relations between China and Taiwan have been severely chilled since the advent of power two years ago by Tsai, a partisan of lower ties with Beijing and, despite the wishes of the Chinese government, he has never wanted to admit that both sides of the strait are the same country. China considers Taiwan an inalienable part of its territory and has never renounced violence to recover the island, which maintains formal diplomatic relations with a score of countries.
During Li's arrest, China ignored Taiwan's continuing requests for information on the whereabouts of the activist and the charges he was blamed. Beijing also prevented the entry into the continental territory of a member of the PDP, Wang Li-Ping, who wanted to witness the trial and who forwarded to Hong Kong.
"The ruling indicates how the Chinese government tries to silence even critics outside China with the appearance of the use of justice, when in reality what has been a secret detention and a biased trial against Lee." China's message is clear: send a jug of cold water to other critics of foreign China, explains Patrick poon
, Amnesty International's researcher in Hong Kong.
warns that we should not rule out that China can address other workers from non-governmental organizations in China if they speak or work on human rights issues, as it can also be considered to endanger the security National ' as in the case of Li '.
None of the two sentences, according to the videos of the trial and the verdict posted on the website of the Yueyang Intermediate Court, appeal the sentence.