The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) called on China Thursday to hold talks with Taiwan as soon as possible on ways and means to effectively combat telecom scams that have hurt Chinese victims.
The MAC statement came one day after it got word from the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) which was not informed by China until five days after 78 Taiwanese, along with 51 Chinese, were taken to China's Guangzhou City from Armenia on charges of defrauding Chinese from Armenia.
Chiu Chui-cheng (???), vice minister of MAC, said it had lodged a protest with China and urged Beijing to send Taiwanese suspects to Taiwan for further investigation and trial.
Chiu also urged China to allow family members of the Taiwanese suspects to visit them in the detention centers in Guangzhou, in accordance with the cross-strait mutual judicial assistance agreement.
Only through cross-strait cooperation can cross-border crimes be effectively suppressed, he said, noting that Taiwan and China have had successful experiences since 2011 in making joint efforts to fight crime.
According to the CIB under the Ministry of the Interior's National Police Agency, it was informed by China of the arrival of the 78 Taiwanese suspects in Guangzhou at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday -- while these suspects actually arrived in Guangzhou on Sept. 2.
Mainland Chinese media outlets have reported that the Armenia-based fraud ring of 129 members was the largest ever busted overseas, which had targeted victims in more than 10 provinces and metropolises across China using telecom tools. A police force of more than 300 was mobilized to repatriate them to China.
A senior CIB officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Chinese police used to alert their Taiwanese counterparts of the names of Taiwanese suspects and evidence of the suspected crimes.
However, such precedents of cross-strait cooperation have been suspended recently, after China cut off official channels of communications with Taiwan over President Tsai Ing-wen's refusal to accept the "1992 consensus" -- which China terms "the political foundation of cross-strait exchanges."
Legislators of both the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and opposition Kuomintang (KMT) hoped that the cross-strait liaison channel will be re-established to jointly fight cross-border crimes.
Taiwan should seek to build trust with China, assuring it that the telecom suspects will be severely punished back in Taiwan, said Lin Chun-hsien (???), a DPP lawmaker.
Taiwanese fraudsters are swindling money out of innocent people all across the world; "it's a national shame," said Lin, urging the government "to do something about it."
Huang Wei-che (???), another DPP legislator, said the Taiwanese public are getting frustrated by the government's failure to crack down on telecom fraudsters and some people would even like to see them punished in China.
Lee Yen-hsiu (???) of KMT said with the current impasse in cross-strait talks, Taiwanese people do not even know if the suspects will get a fair trial in China.
She said it's time that President Tsai Ing-wen gave it a thought: how much longer will such a deadlock remain?
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel