China has agreed to repatriate 14 Taiwanese suspected of being part of a telecommunications fraud ring, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said in a statement yesterday.
On Feb. 2, the Philippines deported to China 14 Taiwanese suspected of involvement in fraud schemes in China, despite protests from Taiwan, which recalled its representative to the Philippines Donald Lee (李傳通), amid the deportation row.
Taiwan also took punitive measures by lengthening the process for screening applications by Philippine nationals seeking to work in Taiwan to four months, from no more than 12 days previously.
On March 15, Taiwan lifted those restrictions after the Philippines punished senior immigration officials over the issue.
The MAC statement said yesterday that the 14 suspects would be repatriated sometime next month in accordance with the cross-strait judicial assistance pact signed by Taiwan and China in 2009. Over the past few months, Taiwanese police officials had also made several visits to Beijing to discuss the case with their Beijing counterparts.
Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday tried to delink the deportation of the 14 suspects to China from sovereignty.
Rather than simply perceive it as an issue of sovereignty, people should think about what action would yield the best outcome in terms of cracking down on crime, Wu was quoted by Government Information Minister Philip Yang (楊永明) as saying.
Labeling the issue a matter of sovereignty would be “unfavorable for international cooperation in cracking down on crime and investigation,” Wu said.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg