Beijing yesterday rejected Taiwan’s protest over Cambodia handing over Taiwanese fraud suspects to Chinese authorities, saying for the first time that the cross-strait communications mechanism “has been suspended” since the new government took office in Taipei last month.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson An Fengshan (安峰山) made the remark while answering reporters’ questions about Taipei’s protest over Cambodia’s decision to accept Beijing’s demand and send Taiwanese telecommunications fraud suspects to China for prosecution.
The mechanism for contact and communication between China and Taiwan “has been suspended” since May 20, as Taipei has not recognized the so-called “1992 consensus,” which he said is the foundation for cross-strait relations that embodies the “one China” principle.
Beijing has repeatedly said that the new government of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) must accept the “1992 consensus” for what it called the warm bilateral ties over the past eight years to continue.
The “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit understanding reached during cross-strait talks in 1992 that both Taiwan and China acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what that means. In 2006, former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted he made up the term in 2000, before the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) handed power to the Democratic Progressive Party.
Efforts to fight telecom fraud and to protect the rights of victims have won the support of people in both China and Taiwan, An said.
He said that there were 25 Taiwanese in the group of 39 suspects sent to China on Friday, although earlier reports indicated that the group sent to Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province included 18 Taiwanese.
An’s comments came after the Mainland Affairs Council issued a statement on Friday voicing regret and protesting China’s failure to respect the appeal by Taiwan that no more Taiwanese suspects should be sent to China until the two sides can work out a set of principles on how to handle such issues.
Taipei has come under domestic pressure and has tried to prevent Taiwanese arrested overseas from being deported to China, although that pressure has eased after revelations that tens of thousands of Taiwanese, many of whom operate abroad to avoid detection, might be engaging in fraud targeting not only Chinese, but Taiwanese as well.
Dozens of Taiwanese fraud suspects were extradited from Kenya to China through Malaysia earlier this year, triggering an angry response.
As of press time last night, no response was available from the Mainland Affairs Council on An’s remarks.
SURPRISE GUEST: Media reports identified the visitor as Admiral Michael Studeman, director of the J2, which oversees intelligence at the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command A two-star US Navy admiral overseeing US military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources told Reuters on Sunday. The sources, who include a Taiwanese official familiar with the situation, said the official was Rear Admiral Michael Studeman. They were speaking on condition of anonymity. After initially saying on Sunday night that it had no comment about the report, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it welcomed the visit of an “unidentified US official,” but declined to give more details because the trip “has not been made public.” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) yesterday
AUTUMN STRUGGLE: The KMT and TPP set up stages on the rally’s sidelines, while Want Want boss Tsai Eng-meng said the DPP was curtailing freedom of speech Tens of thousands of people in Taipei yesterday took part in the “Autumn Struggle” (秋鬥) — an annual protest march by labor groups — but with this year’s focus on rejecting the government’s plan to allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine residue. “Against poisonous pork, against double standards, against a party-state,” the protesters, mostly wearing black, chanted in front of the rally’s main stage on Ketagalan Boulevard at about noon, before a parade set off at 2pm. Autumn Struggle spokesperson Lee Chien-cheng (李建誠) said this year’s march was divided into three teams, with the first team urging food safety and labor
DEFENSE: The construction of indigenous submarines will be a testament to the nation’s commitment to safeguard its sovereignty, President Tsai Ing-wen said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday presided over a ceremony to mark the start of construction of the nation’s first indigenous submarine at state-run shipbuilder CSBC Corp’s (台灣國際造船) shipyard in Kaohsiung. “This submarine is an important part of allowing our navy to develop asymmetric warfare and to intimidate and block enemy ships from surrounding Taiwan’s main island,” Tsai said. “With the construction of the submarine to its future commission, we will certainly let the world know our persistence in safeguarding our sovereignty.” Tsai has made boosting the nation’s indigenous defense capacity a central pillar of her defense policy. She recently relaunched the
TIMELINE QUESTIONS: Chen Shih-chung said: ‘If anyone could assure us that we could get the shots in the first quarter of next year, we could set off firecrackers’ Taiwan has secured nearly 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported five new imported infections among travelers from Indonesia and the Philippines. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that Taiwan on Monday signed a procurement contract with a COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer and paid a deposit to secure 10 million doses. It was the first contract finalized with a manufacturer and negotiations are under way with three other vaccine makers, Chen said. With the more than 4.6 million doses that can be obtained through the COVAX platform —