Crime & Justice

Nonprofit accuses China of using extradition as weapon against Taiwan

Beijing, Dec 1 (EFE).- More than 600 Taiwanese living abroad were extradited to China between 2016-2019, nonprofit Safeguard Defenders said in a report quoted by Taiwanese media on Wednesday, accusing Beijing of using deportations as a way “to undermine Taiwan’s sovereignty.”

“This international persecution of Taiwan nationals (…) is part of the larger global campaign under (President) Xi Jinping to exploit extradition treaties, mutual law enforcement agreements, and other multilateral institutions for the Chinese Communist Party’s political objectives,” the NGO said in its report, released on Tuesday.

The Defenders said that Spain had extradited the highest number of Taiwanese – 219 – to China during the three-year period.

In 2017, the national High Court of Spain had justified the extradition of Taiwan nationals – accused of fraud in the telecommunication sector – by saying that the international community, except for countries that had diplomatic ties with Taiwan, considered the island a part of China.

Similar reasoning was followed by Kenya authorities while deporting Taiwanese citizens to China in 2016, citing international laws.

However, Safeguard Defenders cited the example of the Czech Republic, where courts rejected the extradition of Taiwanese citizens to China in 2020 due to the possibility of them being tortured after arriving in the Asian country.

At times, Beijing has argued that as the victims of the alleged crimes were citizens of mainland China, the accused should be sent to China.

The nonprofit called for greater representation of Taiwan in international forums and its addition to Interpol.

Currently Taiwan maintains diplomatic ties with just 15 countries: Guatemala, Honduras, Vatican City, Haiti, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Eswatini, Tuvalu, Nauru, St Vincent and Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Belize, Marshall Islands and Palau.

Taiwan, where the nationalist forces took refuge after being defeated by the communists in the Chinese civil war, has been under autonomous rule since 1949, although Beijing claims sovereignty over the province, considering it a rebel province and not ruling out the use of force for its reunification. EFE

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