The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday confirmed that two Taiwanese were arrested in China last month on suspicion of involvement in telecom fraud.
Their arrest was reported on Sunday last week by the Guangzhou Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party’s branch office in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.
The report quoted law enforcement officials in the province’s Shaoguan City as saying that three suspects, including two Taiwanese, were arrested for alleged involvement in 19 telecom fraud cases.
The suspects allegedly defrauded 4 million yuan (US$588,348) from their victims and the arrest of the two Taiwanese was approved on May 20, the report said.
The MAC said it found out about the arrests after consulting with the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB).
The Taiwanese were arrested on May 19 and the CIB was notified the next day, the MAC said.
The MAC urged the Chinese authorities to resume exchanges and cooperation with their Taiwanese counterparts, saying it is the best way to crack down on cross-border telecom fraud.
“Do not obstruct police cooperation between the two sides for political reasons,” it said.
High-level cross-strait police exchanges stopped in the wake of increased tensions between the two sides, although information exchanges and a mutual notification system remain in place, National Police Agency Director-General Chen Kuo-en (陳國恩) said.
Cross-strait relations have cooled in the wake of China’s obstruction of Taiwan’s attendance at the annual World Health Assembly meeting last month and the detention of Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲) by China on March 19.
Official relations between Taiwan and China has been suspended since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office on May 20 last year, mainly due to her refusal to heed Beijing’s calls to endorse the so-called “1992 consensus.”
The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
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