Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) yesterday criticized President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration for not accepting a request by a Hong Kong murder suspect to turn himself in to Taiwanese authorities, saying that the move has undermined the nation’s sovereignty.
“Has the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] administration lost its mind? How can it do a thing that is equivalent to castrating our sovereignty?” Han, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, said during a visit to Chiayi County’s Singang Fengtian Temple.
By rejecting the request by Chan Tong-kai (陳同佳), the Mainland Affairs’ Council (MAC) is limiting its own jurisdiction and setting up precedent with “unimaginable consequences,” he said.
From now on, people can avoid punishment for committing manslaughter or arson in Taiwan by simply leaving the nation, he said.
“I believe most Taiwanese are infuriated by this,” Han added.
Chan is suspected of killing his pregnant girlfriend, Poon Hiu-wing (潘曉穎), when they were visiting Taiwan in February last year, before fleeing back to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong police on Saturday informed the Criminal Investigation Bureau that Chan, who is scheduled to be released from prison tomorrow after serving a 29-month sentence related to the theft of Poon’s belongings, is willing to surrender himself to Taiwanese authorities.
The MAC on Sunday said that it would only allow Chan to come to Taiwan if Hong Kong authorities agreed to share all evidence related to the case.
The Hong Kong government had previously ignored Taiwan’s request to turn over Chan and cited the lack of an extradition agreement as a reason for a now-shelved extradition bill, which has since triggered protests in the territory.
“I have always supported the anti-extradition bill protests in Hong Kong and Hong Kongers’ fight for true democracy and freedom, but Taiwan and Hong Kong are different,” Han wrote on Facebook earlier yesterday.
The DPP administration is constantly criticizing China for disregarding human rights and using fear to manipulate the public, but it would not even handle a simple extradition case, he said.
“A government that is afraid of exercising its jurisdiction is disqualified from speaking about human rights,” he added.
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