The family of a Taiwanese tourist who was injured by thieves in China yesterday accused the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) of reacting too slowly in response to the assault, in which his hand was cut off by Chinese muggers who wanted his watch and ring.
Hu Chi-yang (胡其揚) was assaulted on Friday during a family visit to Putian, Fujian Province, where he was accosted by three robbers who repeatedly slashed his left wrist with a knife to take his ring and watch.
“When I asked the foundation how I could reach my father in Putian, they told me to ask the local airport when I get there,” Hu’s daughter Hu Yi-ling (胡怡玲) said at a press conference in Tapei yesterday.
She said that although her father managed to return home safely on Tuesday without any assistance from the foundation, his left hand remained in China, where local police were keeping it as evidence.
The family wanted to bring the victim’s severed hand back to Taiwan, but Chinese police told them that they needed to keep it for evidence.
The foundation said it did its best in handling the case. It said it did not send anyone to the scene of the crime because it handles a lot of cross-strait disputes every day and had not been informed about the severity of the victim’s injuries.
“We have tried our best to ask for assistance from our counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits [ARATS],” foundation spokesman Maa Shaw-chang (馬紹章) said. “We have limited abilities, as we do not have a representative office in China.”
“We sympathize with the victim,” he said.
Maa said the foundation would keep working with its Chinese counterpart to apprehend the muggers and help the Hu family handle insurance issues.
After it discussed the case with ARATS officials yesterday afternoon, the foundation said Chinese officials confirmed that Hu Chi-yang’s hand was being kept as evidence.
According to the foundation, ARATS officials said the police had told them that they had obtained Hu Chi-yang’s permission to keep his hand after he underwent surgery on Friday.
Additional reporting by Su Yung-yao