Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) Taiwan on Thursday called on China to resume cross-strait consultations as soon as possible and not allow politics to impede joint efforts to combat crime.
Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正), deputy minister of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), said that as part of an effort to stamp out cross-border telecom fraud, Taiwan has stepped up efforts to track and combat such criminal behavior by revising the law and introducing more severe punishments, with some indication these measures are bearing fruit.
However, China's unwillingness to cooperate with Taiwan makes it easier for the masterminds behind these criminal gangs to evade capture and harder to seize their ill gotten gains.
Chiu said that if China really wants to combat crime, the priority should be to resume cross-strait consultations and not to let politics get in the way of joint efforts to catch criminals.
Chiu's remarks came after Beijing insisted that Spain deport more than 200 suspects, including Taiwanese and Chinese citizens, recently arrested in that country for alleged telecom fraud, on the grounds that the victims were all Chinese nationals.
Taiwan has strongly protested, saying that such a measure infringes on the rights of the Taiwanese suspects, who it said should be sent back to Taiwan to face investigation and trial.
This is not the first time Beijing has sought to have Taiwanese fraud suspects deported to China to face investigation. There have been several cases in recent years in which Taiwanese suspects arrested in Kenya, Malaysia, Cambodia, the Philippines and other countries, were deported to China, at the request of Beijing, which claimed the victims were predominantly in China.
(By Miu Tsung-han, Elaine Hou and Lilian Wu)