Sun, Nov 06, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan barred from Interpol assembly

‘OBVIOUS’ INTERFERENCE:Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee said it was ‘obvious’ that Beijing was behind Interpol’s decision to bar Taiwan from the general assembly

Staff writer, with CNA

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang yesterday comments at a news conference in Beijing on the exclusion of Taiwan from the International Criminal Police Organization’s general assembly.

Photo: CNA

The central government yesterday expressed its deep regret and discontent with the International Criminal Police Organization’s (Interpol) rejection of its bid to attend the organization’s upcoming general assembly.

Asked if Beijing was behind Interpol’s decision, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) said “that is a very obvious factor.”

Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) last night urged China to acknowledge the Republic of China’s existence and stop hurting the well-being of Taiwanese by obstructing Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.

The government will continue to work closely with the US and other like-minded nations to promote Taiwan’s participation in Interpol, in the hope that Taiwan can be included in the global network for public security protection, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Taiwan was forced to withdraw from Interpol in 1984 when China joined the organization.

For the first time in 32 years, the government last month applied to participate as an observer at Interpol’s 85th general assembly, which runs from tomorrow to Friday in Bali, Indonesia.

Interpol president Mireille Ballestrazzi and secretary-general Jurgen Stock separately wrote to Criminal Investigation Bureau Commissioner Liu Po-liang (劉柏良) stating the organization’s decision to turn down Taiwan’s application, the ministry said.

The ministry said that Taiwan’s bid to participate in the assembly does not involve politics, but is intended to facilitate cooperation with the police forces of other nations and contribute to global efforts against organized crime, cybercrime, cross-border crime and terrorism.

With cross-border crime becoming a serious problem amid globalization, having no access to Interpol information is posing a challenge to Taiwan’s crime-fighting operations, the ministry said, urging Interpol to deal with Taiwan’s case positively and pragmatically based on the need to maintain global security.

Considering the need to maintain security during next year’s Universiade in Taipei, the ministry has also requested that Interpol allow Taiwan to access its I-24/7 global police communications system and the Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database.

Meanwhile, the ministry said it appreciated the US’ support for Taiwan’s participation in the assembly.

Both the US Senate and House of Representatives in March passed legislation requiring the US secretary of state to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan in Interpol. The bill was then signed into law by US President Barack Obama.

Separately yesterday, the Mainland Affairs Council urged China to stop obstructing Taiwan’s efforts to particiate in international organizations.

Taiwan and China should treat each other in a friendly way and seek to resolve differences of opinion through bilateral dialogue in the interests and well-being of their people, the council said.

A survey conducted by the council last month revealed that 80 percent of Taiwanese believe Taiwan’s bids to take part in international organizations should not be subject to political interference, the council said, urging Beijing and the international community not to ignore public opinion in Taiwan.

Additional reporting by Su Fang-ho

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