Activist’s wife says ‘broker’ told her stay low-key

By Stephanie Chao, The China Post

The broker acting on behalf of the mainland Chinese government cried foul today, expressing a “deep sadness” over detained activist Li Ming-che’s (李明哲) wife’s claims that he had been pushing her to abide by Beijing’s demands on Monday. The broker, Lee Chun-min, said in his written statement that he had misjudged the circumstances and his decision to trust Li Ching-yu (李淨瑜), had led to the slandering of his name.

However, he said that he still believed in Li Ching-yu’s kindness. “There may be things that are bothering her if she chose to refer to (me) as a broker.” As described by Li Ching-yu in an earlier press conference, they had talked over the phone several times before meeting up on April 7 to discuss Beijing’s terms. In response to claims of him “threatening her,” he said he wished to define what constituted a threat, as he had told Li that any sort of negotiations should be founded on “an amicable atmosphere.”

If they continued to be antagonistic, there would be no opportunities for negotiation, he said. “If that constituted a threat, then well, I’m offering an apology to Mrs. Li.” Li Ching-yu issued a statement on Sunday in response to an earlier statement from China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) that it had authorized an unnamed organization to convey private messages and personal letters from her detained husband to her and to his parents in Taiwan. She called the Beijing delegate “a broker,” quoting the broker as saying she should “remain low profile and cooperative” if she wished to ensure a speedy release of her husband. His identity was revealed by Li Ching-yu during Monday’s press conference after she was barred from checking in to a flight headed to Beijing, a consequence of her mainland travel documentation being invalidated.