Taiwan coordinates with mainland in search for missing college student


TAIPEI–The worried parents of a Taiwanese college student have requested help from the government and local media to find their son, whom they said lost contact with them after traveling to China two weeks ago.

The student Chen Shih-huai set off on Nov. 12 for a backpacking trip to Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, and was scheduled to return home the next day.

However, his family has not heard from him since he called them from China on Nov. 13 about his homecoming, according to a report in the local Chinese-language newspaper, the United Daily News (UDN), on yesterday.

The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) has asked for assistance from its Chinese counterpart, the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), according to the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC).

The Council said Taiwan’s government will provide necessary assistance to the family. “The government will continue to mind the case,” the MAC said.

According to the UDN report, Yang Yi, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of China’s State Council, said the relevant authorities in Shenzhen have been instructed to locate Chen.

Chen, a junior at the Department of Financial and Economic Law of the Taichung-based Asia University, boarded a China Southern Airlines flight bound for Shenzhen at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Nov. 12. His father said Chen had informed his mother by telephone on Nov. 13 that he was returning home that day, the report said.

However, they did not see their son that day, and do not know of his whereabouts, the father Chen Chien-shun was cited by the newspaper as saying.

The report said Chen has called his son on the cell phone many times, but the calls have all been forwarded to the voice mailbox. He said he then turned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the SEF and police for help, but so far has not been able to get any information about his son.

“For days, I could not eat, nor sleep. I would weep whenever I thought of my son. I don’t know what I will do if anything bad happens to him,” he said.