TAIPEI/BEIJING • Taiwan’s government yesterday denounced China, citing entrapment and manipulation, after Chinese state television aired a documentary showing a Taiwanese confessing to visiting Hong Kong to support anti-government protesters there.
China, which regards self-ruled Taiwan as a renegade province awaiting reunification with the mainland, has repeatedly denounced the island for offering support to Hong Kong’s protest movement, saying the forces of Taiwan and Hong Kong independence are colluding. Taiwan says it has a duty to stand up for democracy and human rights.
Late on Sunday, Chinese state television showed a documentary detailing what it said was a confession by Morrison Lee, who was arrested last year by police in Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, on suspicion of breaching national security laws.
State television said Lee had visited Hong Kong to support the protesters, and had then gone to Shenzhen to secretly film Chinese paramilitary police. “I’m very sorry. I did many bad, wrong things in the past, perhaps harming the motherland and the country,” Lee told the programme, dressed in prison garb.
In Taipei, the Mainland Affairs Council labelled the show as “complete nonsense”, saying: “This is malicious political hyping up by the other side, entrapping one of our people into engaging in spying activities, deliberately damaging relations across the Taiwan Strait.”
China should stop trying to frame Taiwanese people, the council said, adding that putting Lee on TV was contrary to the legal process.
Rights groups and Western governments have expressed anger at China for previous instances where suspects have been put on state television to confess before their trials.
Cross-strait relations continue to nosedive, with China stepping up military drills near the island in recent weeks.
Taiwan says it will not provoke China or seek war, but that it will defend itself and stand up for its democratic way of life.