Murdered Taiwan opposition politician laid to rest

Kaohsiung, 18 August 1998

{short description of image}On Tuesday, 18 August 1998, Ms. Lin Ti-chuan, a female opposition politician from the southern Taiwanese port city of Kaohsiung, was laid to rest in her hometown.

She died in China at the end of July 1998, after being kidnapped and drugged while she was accompanying her boyfriend on a business trip in in the northeastern province of Liaoning in northern China.

DPP Kaohsiung City Councilwoman Ms. Lin Ti-chuan, age 32, went to Dalian City on 27 July with her boyfriend, Mr. Wei Tien-kang, who is an importer of magnesium metallic ore.

Her death caused an outrage in Taiwan, not only because of the brutal way her life came to an end, but also because of the high-handed way in which the Chinese authorities handled the matter: when Ms. Lin's family arrived in China to bring her back home to Taiwan for burial, the authorities at first refused to release the body.

The DPP announced that it was suspending all contacts with China because of the Chinese inept handling of the case.

At the funeral in Kaohsiung, Ms. Lin's coffin was covered with the green-and-white DPP party flag, and some 1,000 people, including leading Party members and local politicians, attended the funeral.

In China, the authorities subsequently arrested a number of persons on suspicion of being involved in the murder, but the main suspect, a mr. Li Guangzhi, who is said to have been the mastermind behind the kidnap, is still at large.

The Taiwan authorities said that during the past few years, some 30 businesspeople had been murdered in China, while dozens received murder or kidnap threats.

The most recent case is that of a Taiwanese businessman, Mr. Wang Fujing, who was murdered by contract killers in the southern boom city of Shenzhen. Wang, 40, from the Taiwanese port city of Kaohsiung, was suffocated in Shenzhen on July 12 and his body was stripped and thrown down a well.

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