Two separate groups of students attending Taiwanese schools in China were yesterday reported to have been involved in robberies. Two students have been detained and could face jail terms of up to 10 years if convicted.
Tseng Hsueh-e (曾雪娥), principal of Huadong Taiwanese Children’s School — a school for children of Taiwanese businesspeople operating in China — in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, told the Central News Agency that seven of her students were allegedly involved in an armed robbery in March.
Two of the seven students have been detained because, at age 18, they are legally adults and local prosecutors are asking that they be sentenced to 10 years in prison, Tseng said.
She added that the five other students have been released on bail and have been transferred to other schools.
The principal said the students committed the crime with a sense of excitement rather than with serious intent in mind and that they had returned some of the items they had stolen.
Tseng said one of the students made the bad decision to commit robbery while he was alone in Kunshan, because his mother had returned to Taiwan to take care of his father, who was unwell.
The incident illustrates the problems Taiwanese students can encounter when adjusting to the environment in China and the students involved in the alleged crimes “should be given one more chance,” she said.
Meanwhile, four students from Shanghai Taiwanese Children’s School were also reported to have been involved in a robbery in February.
The case is now closed and the four students — all of whom have graduated or transferred to other schools — have been put on probation, a source at the school said.
The age of the four students in Shanghai is not known.
Straits Exchange Foundation spokesman Maa Shaw-chang (馬紹章) said yesterday that neither the parents nor the two schools requested help from the foundation, adding that the foundation is prepared to provide any necessary assistance in accordance with Chinese law.
Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Yang Yi (楊毅) declined to comment before obtaining more detailed information about the two cases.