A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator and the New Power Party (NPP) caucus yesterday panned China over its refusal to release information concerning 20 Taiwanese fraud suspects who were deported from Malaysia, which resulted in their release immediately upon arrival in Taiwan.
Twenty of the 52 Taiwanese arrested in Malaysia last month on suspicion of telephone fraud returned to Taiwan on Friday evening, after Taiwanese authorities spent the day discussing the case with Malaysia and China to try to prevent the Malaysian authorities from deporting them to China.
“The 20 people who were deported to Taiwan last night [Friday] were sent back to Taiwan because Malaysia believes they were not seriously involved in telephone fraud. Neither Chinese or Malaysian police gave Taiwanese officials any documents,” DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) said on Facebook.
“When they were sent to the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office, the prosecutor released them because nothing but an interrogation transcript from Malaysian police was given to Taiwanese authorities,” Tuan said.
Tuan said that when Criminal Investigation Bureau officials arrived at the airport on Friday night to meet the Taiwanese suspects, they were surprised to learn that no documents related to the case were sent.
Officers immediately contacted their Malaysian counterparts and were told that all documents and evidence were in the hands of Chinese authorities, Tuan said, adding that when they contacted Chinese authorities, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security turned down the request.
Tuan said that according to an agreement reached by Taiwan and China in 2011, when Taiwanese or Chinese are deported for crimes committed in a third country, any evidence is to be sent with the suspects on deportation.
The NPP caucus yesterday issued a statement applauding the nation’s representatives abroad for successfully preventing Taiwanese in Malaysia from being deported to China.
“We deeply regret that the relevant evidence has been sent to China, the lack of which has left our law enforcement agencies powerless to conduct an investigation into the case and thereby aggravated the negative image that fraudsters get away easily” in Taiwan, the statement said.
“We would like to call on the People’s Republic of China that, as a responsible member of the international community and for the shared objective of fighting crimes, it immediately stop the malicious behavior of forcibly deporting Taiwanese and withholding evidence that would paralyze the judiciary of our nation and result in Taiwanese loss of confidence in the rule of law,” the statement said.
Additional reporting by Alison Hsiao
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: As China attempted to promote its national image through humanitarian aid, its targets include New Southbound Policy countries, an expert said China’s “vaccine diplomacy,” which has become central to its foreign policy this year, might hamper Taiwan’s efforts to build relations with developing countries, an expert said. “China, as one of the few countries other than the United Kingdom and the United States to have produced a COVID-19 vaccine, will certainly use that as a diplomatic tool,” said Kung Shan-son (龔祥生), an assistant research fellow at the government-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research. Beijing’s major goals in its “vaccine diplomacy” are to promote its national image through humanitarian aid and to solidify its relations with countries that are included in its
A Tainan taxi driver is the Taiwanese with the longest name, after he last month changed it so that it now contains 25 characters, the Anping District Household Registration Office said. The 47-year-old man, formerly known as Huang Hsin-hsiang (黃鑫翔), applied for the name change on Feb. 26, in the hope that it would bring him good luck. His new name starts with Huang Da-lan (黃大嵐) and adds another 22 characters, meaning “Huang Da-lan is the blessed darling and sweetheart of the god of joy, god of wealth, god of misfortune, god of Earth and all the gods,” it said. With
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group might have lost its right to distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 and the ability to fulfill a contract in Taiwan, civic groups Taiwan Citizen Front and the Economic Democracy Union said yesterday. In a radio interview on Feb. 17, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, said that last year, Taiwan was close to signing a contract to buy doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, but that the deal was halted at the last moment, with some speculating that Chinese interference was to blame. On Monday last week, the center