Missing Taiwanese soldier found in Xiamen previously informed the Mainland that he did not want to return

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15th March 2023 – (Xiamen) Taiwanese soldier Chen went missing on Thursday (9th) on the island of Erdan in Kinmen, and on Monday (13th), Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Chiu Tai-san confirmed that he was in Xiamen, China. The Kinmen District Prosecutors’ Office is currently compiling information regarding Chen’s disappearance, but as of Wednesday (15th), no arrest warrant has been issued. Kinmen Legislator Chen Yu-jen stated that Chen had previously informed the Mainland that he did not want to return, and on Wednesday, China arranged for him to call home and report his safety. However, they were unable to contact his father as he was out.

On Wednesday, Taiwan’s Minister of National Defence, Chiu Kuo-cheng, stated before the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee that the military is also searching for answers to questions raised by the incident involving Chen. The Kinmen military police had submitted information regarding Chen’s whereabouts on Tuesday morning, and the prosecutors’ office immediately initiated an investigation into the matter. If it is confirmed that Chen deliberately deserted, he will be charged with the “crime of long-term desertion,” which carries a sentence of up to 5 years in prison. According to sources cited by Taiwanese media, Chen reassured his family that he was eating and sleeping well and did not need to worry because China did not allow family visits, only allowing him to report his safety through relevant channels.

In addition, Chen Yu-jen stated on Wednesday that she had been informed by China that they agreed to allow Chen’s family to visit him on the Mainland. She immediately contacted the family, and Chen’s father expressed his gratitude for the assistance and agreed to go to Xiamen to visit his son.