[UPDATE] China Seeks Deportation of 52 Taiwanese from Malaysia

[UPDATE] China Seeks Deportation of 52 Taiwanese from Malaysia
Photo Credit:Reuters/達志影像
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[UPDATE]:

On April 15, Malaysia deported 20 Taiwanese back to Taiwan, even though Beijing requested the suspects to be sent to China.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan has confirmed the deportation, and officials say they are negotiating with Malaysia for the remaining 32 suspects to be sent back to the island as well.

(update ends)

Just days after 45 Taiwanese were deported from Kenya to China, the Taiwanese government now risks its sovereignty being further eroded after China reportedly sought to deport a group of Taiwanese from Malaysia.

Taiwan Foreign Minister David Lin confirmed a Chinese airplane was in Jakarta this morning to pick up 52 Taiwanese, who are suspected of involvement in a phone scam. A further 65 Chinese nationals are also being held as part of the group.

Although it has not been verified that the Chinese airplane was indeed picking up the suspects, the representative office of Taiwan located in Kuala Lumpur has lobbied the Malaysian government to have the Taiwanese suspects brought to Taiwan. Lin vowed to do his utmost to prevent Taiwanese being deported to China.

The battle over jurisdiction of the Taiwanese suspects stems from their alleged role in phone and wire scams where most victims are Chinese nationals. Penalties in China are reportedly more severe than in Taiwan.

Taiwan authorities said earlier this week they would travel to Beijing to negotiate the release of the 45 Taiwanese sent from Kenya. China is hesitant to receive the delegation, citing the ongoing investigation. Dialogue with Taiwanese authorities continues.

Taiwan and China signed a crime-fighting agreement in 2009 that established procedures for handling suspects between countries. However, this is understood to have been breached several times.

Edited by Edward White

Sources:
South China Morning Post
Straits Times
Washington Post
Focus Taiwan
“Malaysia decides not to send Taiwanese suspects to China" (Yahoo News)
“Malaysia deports 20 Taiwanese in fraud case to Taiwan ‘despite China’s request'" (The Straits Times)