top of page

Writers, scholars call for China to release Taiwan-based publisher

April 22, 2023

Publisher Li Yanhe, who is better known as Fu Cha, is pictured when he was interviewed for a CNA podcast in November 2021. CNA file photo

Taipei, April 22 (CNA) A group of Taiwanese and foreign writers and scholars on Saturday called for the immediate release of Taiwan-based publisher Li Yanhe (李延賀), who reportedly has been detained in China by authorities since March.

"We urge the Chinese government to immediately release [Li] so that he can return to his beloved family and his publishing work," said a statement signed by 40 writers, scholars, and senior media workers and issued on Saturday.

Li, who is better known as Fu Cha (富察), was reportedly arrested by police in Shanghai in March, shortly after he arrived in China to visit his family and deal with residency-related issues.

According to the statement, Li has been forbidden from seeing his lawyer and family members, and communication with him has been "severely restricted."

It remains unclear on what grounds Li was arrested.

Asked by CNA on Thursday about Li's situation, Jan Jyh-horng (詹志宏), deputy minister of the Mainland Affairs Council -- Taiwan's top government agency handling cross-Taiwan Strait affairs -- said Li was "safe," but did not give any details.

Jan said he was unable to provide further information out of respect for the wishes of Li's family.

Born in 1971 in the Chinese province of Liaoning, Li relocated to Taiwan in 2009 after marrying a Taiwanese woman. It is unclear whether Li has acquired Taiwanese nationality.

Li founded Gūsa Publishing in Taiwan in 2009, and over the years the company has printed books that either criticize the Chinese Communist Party or touch upon the party's taboos.

They include "Red Infiltration: The Reality of China's Global Media Expansion" a book written by U.S.-based Chinese economist He Qinglian (何清漣) about Beijing's overseas media outreach for global influence.

Gūsa also published the Chinese version of award-winning journalist Louisa Lim's (林慕蓮) "The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited," an in-depth analysis of Beijing's violent crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 and how the incident has changed Chinese society thereafter.

Both He and Lim signed Saturday's statement, which praised Li's dedication to reading and publishing.

Li "was born in China, but he has relished Taiwan's freedoms, and devoted himself to upholding those freedoms for Taiwan's readers," the statement said.

"We believe [Li] has not committed any crime in utilizing these freedoms," the statement added.

(By Teng Pei-ju) Enditem/cs

bottom of page