Taiwan claims entrapment after China shows spy 'confession'
TAIPEI / BEIJING (Reuters) - Taiwan's government denounced China, citing imprisonment and manipulation after Chinese state television broadcast a documentary in which a Taiwanese citizen confessed to visiting Hong Kong to support anti-government demonstrators.
China, which claims to have democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, has repeatedly denounced Taipei for supporting the China-administered protest movement in Hong Kong, stating that the forces of Taiwan and Hong Kong independence are working together.
Taiwan says it has a duty to stand up for democracy and human rights.
Late on Sunday, Chinese state television showed a documentary about a confession made by Morrison Lee, who was arrested last year by police in Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, on suspicion of violating national security laws.
State television said Lee went to Hong Kong to support the protesters and then went to Shenzhen to secretly film the Chinese paramilitary police.
"I'm very sorry. I've done a lot of bad, wrong things in the past that may have harmed the motherland and the country," Lee told the program in prison clothes.
In Taipei, the Mainland Affairs Council called the show "utter nonsense".
"This is malicious other side political hyping that is tricking one of our people into engaging in espionage activity and deliberately damaging cross-strait relations," it said.
China should stop accusing Taiwanese citizens, the council added, saying putting Lee on television was against the legal process.
Rights groups and Western governments have voiced their anger at China over previous cases of showing suspects on state television to confess before their trial.
The espionage allegations stem from the fact that relations between Taipei and Beijing continue to fall and China has stepped up military exercises near the island in recent weeks.
Taiwan says it will not provoke China or seek war, but will defend itself and advocate its democratic way of life.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Yimou Lee and Beijing Newsroom. Editing by Gerry Doyle)
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