Taiwan protests as Indonesia sends its telecom fraud suspects to China

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 03, 2017 7:55 AM

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan has protested to Indonesia for sending more than 100 telecom fraud suspects, including 22 Taiwan nationals, to China, the self-ruled island said on Thursday, the latest in a series of such deportations.

Taiwan, an island China considers a wayward province, has this year protested to Vietnam and Cambodia for doing the same thing.

Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia, like all but a shrinking handful of countries in the world, adhere to Beijing's "one China" policy and do not recognize diplomatic rival Taiwan, whose official name is the Republic of China.

China has suspended dialogue with Taipei since June, a month after pro-independence Tsai Ing-wen took office as Taiwan's president, because Tsai has refused to accept Beijing's "one China" principle.

Indonesia sent 143 suspects to either the Chinese cities of Chengdu or Tianjin on Thursday, the Taiwan foreign ministry said in a statement.

Indonesia had cooperated with China to arrest the 143 suspects on Saturday, the statement said.

"We request a diplomatic consul visit as well as assistance in identifying the people, and urge Indonesia to handle this justly in accordance with the law as well as to provide channels for judicial relief to the Taiwan nationals," the ministry said.

Taiwan also emphasized that China and Taiwan should cooperate to investigate cross-border crime.

"But China forcibly sending Taiwan nationals to the Chinese mainland completely ignores goodwill and appeals from our side...and impacts the healthy development of cross-straits relations," Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said.

China's foreign ministry did not comment on the case on Thursday.

China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control. China's Nationalists fled to the island after losing the Chinese civil war with the Communists in 1949.

(Reporting by Jess Macy Yu; Editing by Nick Macfie)