The Washington PostThe Washington Post

From salesman to 'spy': An inside account of arbitrary arrest in China

By Vic Chiang and Christian Shepherd

27 Jul 2023 · 6 min read

informed Summary

  1. Taiwanese electronics salesman Lee Meng-chu was detained in China for four years after being found with fliers supporting Taiwan and Hong Kong in his luggage. He was accused of espionage and barred from leaving the country.

When Taiwanese electronics salesman Lee Meng-chu made his regular journey from the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen across to Hong Kong almost four years ago, he found himself selected for a random luggage search - and transformed into an enemy of the Chinese state.

At the bottom of his backpack, the Chinese border officers discovered five small fliers with maps that highlighted Taiwan - the self-governed democracy Beijing claims as its territory - and Hong Kong with the words "Hong Kong and Taiwan stand hand-in-hand together!"

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