Chinese authorities on Wednesday arrested Taiwanese pro-independence activist Yang Chih-yuan. Yang is accused of separatism and endangering China’s national security. Yang is a vocal pro-independence activist, founder of the Taiwanese National Party. Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council says it has not yet been notified of Yang’s arrest by Chinese authorities, asking China to explain the situation immediately.
The same day that U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat with Taiwan’s president, Chinese authorities in the city of Wenzhou on Wednesday arrested Taiwanese pro-independence activist Yang Chih-yuan.
32-year-old Yang is a Taichung native and a graduate of National Chung Hsing University’s Department of History. In 2019, he joined the legislative electoral race, representing the now-defunct pro-independence Taiwan Action Party Alliance. He is also one of the founders of the Taiwanese National Party. Yang has been active in social activism, student protests and was a vocal critic of the KMT’s 2020 presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu.
China’s security agency says that Yang had long advocated for an independence referendum, and had promoted pro-independence ideas. Though Chinese authorities say Yang will be punished according to Chinese law, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council says it has not yet received any official notice from across the strait. The council criticized the CCP’s use of national security as a pretense to detain Taiwanese people, saying that it strongly opposed such moves. The council condemned the arrest, saying that China should fully explain the situation immediately.
Taiwan Statebuilding Party chair
The CCP does not dare lay a finger on the U.S. So the only thing they can do is try to intimidate Taiwan. This arrest is a threat to so-called “Pro-Taiwan activists” or more broadly, anyone they deem a Taiwan independence activist.
The chair of the Taiwan Statebuilding Party says he’s concerned that Yang’s arrest could have similarities with the arrest of pro-democracy activist Lee Ming-che five years ago. He says that China is using the arrest as a warning of worse things to come, showing just how hegemonic and dictatorial the regime across the strait can be.