Taiwanese fraud criminals Chen Chun-chih (陳俊志), Lin Tsung-ju (林宗儒) and 27 others were recently sentenced to prison for participating in a telecom fraud ring based in Armenia [“Chinese court sentences two leaders, 27 members of fraud ring to prison,” June 15, page 3].
They were arrested by Armenian police and sent to Guangzhou, China. They were sentenced by the Huadu District People’s Court in Guangzhou.
I strongly disagree with this extradition because I think that since they are Taiwanese, they should have been sent to Taiwan rather than China. However, controversial incidents that raise the issue of Taiwanese independence have been occurring ever since the end of the Chinese Civil War.
The Chinese government has continuously interfered with international affairs relating to Taiwan and put pressure on other countries and organizations to not recognize the authenticity of the Taiwanese government’s sovereignty.
Extraditing international criminals and excluding Taiwan from global affairs and organizations are part of China’s strategy to isolate Taiwan.
One of the most recent incidents, where Beijing asked airlines all over the world to refer to Taiwan as part of China — which the White House called “Orwellian nonsense” — is also something that Taiwanese are concerned about.
In addition, China forced Burkina Faso to break diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
Most third parties have to yield to the Chinese government due to its huge economic and political status and the benefits that the Chinese market and its government’s power offer.
In my opinion, the obscure reality of a sovereign, independent Republic of China is a problem that cannot be solved in short period of time, and the pressure from the Chinese government and its isolation of Taiwan will not stop anytime soon.
The best way for Taiwanese to deal with this dilemma is to raise the number of chips Taiwan has on the diplomatic negotiating table.
The nation could increase its soft power and encourage other countries rely on its products more, so that allies have no fear when they decide to stand with Taiwanese.
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