Mainland Affairs Council Minister Andrew Hsia (夏立言) yesterday urged China to present concrete evidence backing figures it released to demonstrate the prevalence of Taiwanese-orchestrated telecommunications fraud, while calling for a new round of negotiations on a cross-strait pact to jointly fight crime.
Hsia made the remarks on the sidelines of a meeting of the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee, which invited him speak and answer questions about Kenya’s deportation of 45 Taiwanese from Nairobi to Beijing on Friday last week and on Tuesday.
“I have seen the frightening numbers of [telecom scam] victims published by Chinese authorities. However, we hope they can present some evidence to back the figures so that they are not just conjecture,” Hsia said.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
China is also urged to show evidence that its forcible seizure of the Taiwanese conformed with procedural justice, Hsia said.
Hsia was referring to a statement issued by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office on Wednesday, in which the office justified the deportation of the Taiwanese as an attempt to safeguard the rights and interests of Chinese who have affected by telecom fraud orchestrated by Taiwanese.
Twenty-three of the deported Taiwanese were acquitted by a Kenyan court on Friday last week in a 2014 telecom fraud case, while the other 22 Taiwanese were among a group of 41 suspects arrested by Kenyan police on the same day.
According to a statement, the 23 acquitted Taiwanese were involved in a telecom fraud ring that swindled more than 100 Chinese by pretending to be Chinese public security officials, making more than 6 million yuan (US$925,198).
“It is estimated that Taiwanese fraudsters have made more than 10 billion yuan annually from Chinese in recent years… These scams have bankrupted many families and corporations, inflicting tremendous physical and mental pain on victims. Some even committed suicide as a result,” the statement said, calling for compassion.
Expressing confidence that the Kenya incident would result in better cross-strait agreements about joint crime-fighting, Hsia said the Philippines’ controversial deportation of 14 Taiwanese fraud suspects to China in 2011 also created an unpleasant cross-strait conflict at the time, but both Taipei and Beijing were able to reach an agreement following five months of negotiations.
The agreement, reached under the framework of the 2009 Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement (海峽兩岸共同打擊犯罪及司法互助協議), said that Taiwanese and Chinese who commit wrongdoings in a foreign nation should be deported to their respective countries.
“Their failure to honor the agreement this time was probably due to the emergence of new types of fraud. With the number of fraudsters and victims on the rise, we hope to engage in further talks to determine whether we need to step up our crime-fighting efforts,” Hsia said.
Hsia said that whether Taiwan should impose more stringent penalties for fraud was an issue worthy of serious consideration.
Taiwan from Thursday is to reinstate visa exemptions for passport holders from 65 countries. Mandatory quarantine for arriving travelers is to be lifted on Oct. 13 , when restrictions on inbound and outbound tour groups are also to be lifted. The following is a list of answers to common questions regarding how the new regulations are to affect inbound international visitors Which passports will have visa-free entry privileges? Eleven more countries on Thursday are to join 54 countries that were given visa-free privileges on Sept. 12. Passport holders from Japan, South Korea, Chile, Israel and Nicaragua can stay in Taiwan for up to 90 days without a visa. Taiwan is also to resume 30-day visa-free stays for citizens of the Dominican Republic, Singapore and Malaysia. Passport holders from Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines are to be allowed to stay in Taiwan for 14 days visa-free. Taiwan on Sept. 12 resumed 90-day visa-free entry for passport holders from the US, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New
PRIDE AND FURY: Supporters of the Taiwan People’s Communist Party sang in Tainan, while Taiwan loyalists in Kaohsiung vowed to ‘protect Taiwan until death’ Two small Taiwanese groups at the far ends of the debate over relations with Beijing marked the National Day of the People’s Republic of China yesterday with flag raisings and flag burnings — opposite responses at a time of rising tension over the Taiwan Strait. Oct. 1 marks the day that Mao Zedong (毛澤東) proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949, with the defeated Republic of China government fleeing to Taiwan at the end of that year, where — after democratic reforms — it remains to this day, neither recognizing the other. China’s national day is not officially marked in any
Adolescents aged 12 to 17 can start receiving the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine from tomorrow, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, adding that the second phase of inoculations using Moderna’s bivalent vaccine would begin next week. The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that the Novavax vaccine can be administered to adolescents aged 12 to 17 as their primary series of vaccines or as a booster shot. It also allowed a mix-and-match approach. The Novavax vaccine is a good choice for eligible recipients who are worried about possible adverse reactions from other COVID-19 vaccines, said
‘CONSENSUS’: The CECC would brief the Cabinet on its reopening plans if data show that a local outbreak proceeded as it had predicted, Premier Su Tseng-chang said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) could announce today that it would fully reopen borders on Oct. 13, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday. Su in the morning inspected Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to check if airport personnel were prepared to cope with an expected rise in passenger volume today, when the weekly cap for international arrivals would increase to 60,000 people. The requirement for a saliva-based polymerase chain reaction test upon landing is also to be waived. The CECC last week announced that a zero-quarantine policy for international arrivals could be implemented from Oct. 13, depending on the local