Activist Chen Guangcheng, who fled house arrest in China and later moved to the U.S., arrived on Sunday in Taiwan, where he is to give several speeches.

The 18-day trip is part of Mr. Chen’s efforts to enhance freedoms and human rights for his fellow Chinese, said the organiser, the Taiwan Association for China Human Rights, in a statement.

Mr. Chen sparked a diplomatic crisis between China and the U.S. last year when he fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing from house arrest. Since then, he has been a special student at New York University’s U.S.-Asia Law Institute while working on a book due out this year.

Mr. Chen’s Taiwan visit offers a challenge to Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, who has built his administration around better relations with China, from which Taiwan split amid civil war in 1949.

Taiwan has one of the most vibrant democracies in Asia, but Mr. Ma is also trying to improve relations with Beijing.

The presidential office said Mr. Ma has not scheduled a meeting with Chen.

Mr. Chen will give a news conference, address the island’s legislature, meet parliamentary Speaker Wang Jin-pyng and speak at universities, organisers said.

Chen caused a controversy earlier this month when he accused New York University of bowing to pressure from the Chinese government and forcing him to leave.

The university denied that, and said it had offered him a one-year fellowship to help him leave China, and that it was concluding at the end of the academic year as planned.

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