Sunday, May 10, 2009

PRC Police to Taiwan

The Taipei Times reported on the efforts to station PRC police in Taiwan:
Allowing Chinese law enforcement personnel to be stationed in Taiwan as part of cross-strait efforts to prevent crime is not a finalized plan, although that is what the two sides are working toward, a Crime Investigation Bureau (CIB) official said yesterday.

“So far, we don’t have a concrete plan, but we’re working in that direction,” CIB Crime Investigation Section Chief Chiu Nien-hsing (邱念興) was quoted as saying yesterday in a Central News Agency (CNA) report.

Chiu made the comments in response to a report published by the Chinese-language China Times Weekly magazine on Friday that Chinese law enforcement personnel may soon be allowed to be stationed in Taiwan.
As the Taipei Times noted, reports had been circulating on the net for the last few days:
“Let’s wait and see — first it’s the police, next it will be the military,” an anonymous Internet user wrote on an online forum. “Once Chinese police and military can be legally present in Taiwan, it would be like telling the world we’ve been ‘liberated.’”

“Chinese police will soon be allowed to make arrests in Taiwan,” an Internet user with the screen name “cw” said. “Wuerkaixi, Professor Ruan Ming [阮銘], Tibetan dissidents and Taiwanese independence activists will be the first on the list.”

Both Wuerkaixi and Ruan are Chinese dissidents taking refuge in Taiwan.
Not just dissidents from China taking refuge here, but recall that independence supporters here are all labeled "terrorists" in China. Now recall the tale of Wang Bingzhang, the PRC dissident now doing life in China. He was kidnapped by Chinese secret agents in 2002 in Vietnam and dragged off to China. If the Chinese aren't going to scruple at taking people from Vietnam... and they have precedent: the US rendition program, our illegal kidnap and torture program. Not merely a US national shame, it also creates a legal precedent for similar PRC activities. The US can hardly criticize the PRC if Tsai Ing-wen disappears in the night.

And don't forget, the Chinese will then have access to all the information that local police have access to, in the very least. That, I suspect, will be far more interesting and useful to PRC intelligence than Ruan Ming or Wuerkaixi. Or even Tsai Ing-wen.

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Anonymous said...

As an American living in Taiwan I'm not sure what to make of this news. It's disturbing and as you noted there is precedent so to speak what with the USA having places like Guantanamo bay. Why is there a need for PRC police here? I often lament that cops here don't do a good enough job but that's partly in jest, last thing I want is corrupt PRC police patrolling the streets of Taiwan.

Maoman said...

I actually felt sick to my stomach reading that article. If this comes to pass without millions of protesters in the streets, then this country is a lost cause.

James said...

I don't understand how the Taiwanese can let themselves be thrown down the river like this.

Anonymous said...

We're watching and listening.

Eyes and ears.

Dalbanese said...

This combined with the reports of Taiwanese police building thorough files on blogger groups and protesters makes it sound like the pieces are coming together for a streamlined sweep :(

iroiro said...

I suspect that people of mainland have gathered already a lot of information of any kind about many people in Taiwan.
I was often surprised to see that KMT discovered so many secrets about Chen.

Anonymous said...

so Chia will not work inside in Interpol system in Taiwan anymore?

Godwin said...

That would be like Polish police inviting the Gestapo to patrol the streets together in the spring of 1939.

Sean Reilly said...

I was in Hong Kong in 1997, a month before and a month after the handover. The first trip was one of the best weekends of my life, the second trip was my last.

The biggest visible differences were PLA soldiers wandering the streets in packs and Chinese special police at the airport. I spent a long time answering questions just outside the door of my waiting airplane. Who were my friends in Kowloon? Why was I in HK? Why was I returning to Taiwan? It was harrowing. I felt safe when I finally was given back my passport and got on my plane. I felt relieved to be heading back to Taiwan.

I wouldn't like to see that sort of behavior erupting here in Taiwan, but then again, isn't that the way that Taiwanese police are treating protesters, journalists, and members of the opposition these days?

Why is everyone worried about the Chinese police having jurisdiction here on the beautiful island? Haven't they been enjoying exactly that privilege for just under a year now? Isn't this how the communist party will eventually take the island, not with a series of bangs, but with a series of whimpers?

Sleep tight, Mr Ma. I'm sure you do.

riceagain said...

Do blogs that violate PRC "subversion" laws count as cross-strait crime?

wanna place bets on when the first "green" politician or journo is accused of terrorism or espionage?

Jade said...

I cannot belive this is happening. As James put it "I don't understand how the Taiwanese can let themselves be thrown down the river like this". I felt not only sick to my stomach, my heart is also beleeding. As a Taiwanese I want to scream to my fellow Taiwanese fight not for yourselves but for your children and grandchildren. They will appreciate it someday.

Islander said...

Allowing chinese police to be stationed in taiwan?! Why? The KMT is so eager to please their chinese masters, they're willing to do anything.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how the Taiwanese can let themselves be thrown down the river like this---

How? see here:

Anonymous said...

I'm actually considering leaving Taiwan for the first time in my life.

Readin said...

"I don't understand how the Taiwanese can let themselves be thrown down the river like this."

Well, when people can't tell the difference between picking up terrorism suspects and imprisoning them vs. picking up peaceful political dissidents and imprisoning them, how are people supposed to know when the KMT and PRC are overstepping their bounds?

When people can't tell the difference between a prison where life, limb and religious freedom are protected vs a prisons where beatings cause permanent damage and sometimes death, how are people supposed to recognize the difference between an enemy and a friend?

When people can't tell the difference between a political system where judges take their instructions from party cronies vs a political system where the administration doesn't win all its legal battles, how can one tell tyranny from freedom?

"If the Chinese aren't going to scruple at taking people from Vietnam... and they have precedent: the US rendition program, our illegal kidnap and torture program." That kind of moral equivalency is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Robert R. said...

I wholly agree that the prospect of PRC police having any presence (or power) in Taiwan is terrifying in the least. It's bad enough that our police are not punished for their illegal actions. If PRC police are caught doing something bad, you can guarantee that they won't be detained. At best, they'll be deported back home, where they'll probably get a medal.

On the other hand, perhaps they'll arrest some of the Taiwanese businessmen that absconded from China without paying their workers when times got tough. However, it's a piss-poor trade-off

NGNB said...

"Anonymous said...
I'm actually considering leaving Taiwan for the first time in my life."

Great!! 求之不得!!! The sooner the better!! 就怕你賴在台灣不走啊. As a matter of fact, all of the foreigners supporting TI with no intention of sheding your blood, or scraificing your family or your property should leave Taiwan tomorrow.
ㄏㄡˋ真是無聊 "力勒 一天伽晚甲叭無代痣走 在台灣靠腰"
We Taiwanese will be happy NOT to see your face again EVER!! BYE~~ BYE~~

Anonymous said...

The comment from this "NGNB" person from the previous post makes me ashamed. I am a Taiwanese and I do not share his/her viewpoint. What's this s**t about shedding blood and sacrificing family?! I have no intention of all that but how would that make me any less a supporter of Taiwan independence? Logic simply doesn't make sense.

Taiwanrox said...

As a Taiwanese in America, I am still worried about my elder family members in Taiwan... We can't let this erosion of rights happen to Taiwan as it did to Post World War 1 Germany... First, they'll make the police force, they'll ban Taiwanese lawyers...and then Taiwanese doctors... until we end up like Tibet, enslaved.

FOARP said...

This is paranoia. What powers will these police have? Will they be a mere liaison? How many of them will be stationed in Taiwan? What will the extradition process entail? Which police force - the Public Security Bureau? If so this would seem strange, as they are not stationed in Hong Kong or Macau. Or will they be from the various provincial/municipal forces who deal entirely with criminal matters.

If you do not know these things, how can you be either for or against it? Or do you think there is simply no need for cooperation in criminal law enforcement between Taiwan and the Mainland?

Michael Turton said...

Yes, it's paranoia. That's a rational response to the operation of other nation's Gestapo in your own nation. Do you really think the PRC police give a flying fuck about cross-strait crime? If they did, they'd return our criminals who have fled to them. It would be easy.

So what are they here for? The answer is obvious.

Let him who has ears, hear.

Readin said...

I don't know the answer, but the first question that came to mind mind was, "how common are international cross-postings of police?". Are there Chinese police in the United States? Are there American police in China? I'm pretty sure there are American police in Mexico and a number of other places where drug trafficking is a problem. Is cross-posting of police between countries that have criminals frequently crossing the border a common occurrence? If so, this doesn't seem like a big deal.

Another question, will Taiwanese police be posted in China?

MikeinTaipei said...

NGNB: In the modern world, the very terms “foreigner,” “waiguoren” and “expatriate” have become antiquated, a provincial viewpoint on locality that does not stand scrutiny. We care, write — and act — because Taiwan is our home and home to our loved ones. We have careers here and a stake in the future of this nation, whether you like it or not.

A much longer version of this argument is available at:

FOARP said...

1) Cross postings of police are very common, there are Chinese police liasing with their British counterparts, this doesn't mean that I will get arrested for taking part in the anti-CCP demonstrations at last year's London torch relay.

2) Why do you assume that they will have powers of arrest? This is inconceivable - is anyone seriously suggesting it?

3) Taiwanese criminals have been returned from the mainland - mostly blue-collar/insane ones, but they do get returned. Refusing co-operation is silly, as Taiwan retains the power not to extradite.

4) By this logic Taiwan should have no relations whatsoever with the PRC, as in all areas you can similarly say that they are just trying to take over the island. There is a balance to be struck between defending ROC sovereignty and engaging in fruitful cooperation - why don' you let the Taiwanese people's elected officials strike it?

Michael Turton said...

FOARP, do you not know anything about the "elected officials" and the ideologies they subscribe to? Or what?

FOARP said...

@Michael Turton - Only what I read in the papers. Are you saying that the KMT didn't win the election?

Look, do you think I favour the communists? Do you think I in anyway approve of the KMTs corrupt mafia links and its black gold past? All I'm saying is that paranoia of this kind is little different to the recent nonsense which has been pouring out of America (Obama's a Muslim, Obama's planning to ban guns, Obama's going to convert America to 'socialism, Obama's bringing a fascist state into being). It is also very reminiscent of the attitude of KMT supporters after Chen's win in 2004.

@MikeinTaipei - I agree that foreign opinion should not be dismissed simply because it is foreign, and I thoroughly disagree with NGNB, but at the same time if you are not a citizen of the country in question you cannot expect your opinion to count as much as it would if you were. This is doubly so if you have no intention to give up your original citizenship to become an ROC citizen.

Michael Turton said...

FOARP, i have no idea what your political ideals are. I do know that when PRC police are stationed here, they will be very interested in the activities of PRC dissidents and Taiwan dissidents, or independence supporters, as we know them. They are an ostensibly and overtly political police. I don't know why it is paranoia to suggest that people whose jobs are to police politics will perform that task when they are assigned a policing role. It would be rather odd and uncharacteristic if they didn't.


FOARP said...

@Michael Turton - That is undoubtedly true, but the same is true of the PRC police who liaise with the national police of many other jurisdictions, the UK included. Will it increase their ability to gather intelligence? Probably not, it would be foolish in the extreme to suppose that Taiwan is not an open book for PRC intelligence gathering at the moment - just look at the reports of spy networks in countries like the US, UK, and Australia. If the PRC wished, it could probably attempt (I say nothing of their chances of success) the kidnap of people living in Taiwan already, the simple addition of a liaison office will not change or facilitate this. In fact, intelligence gathering is almost always carried out by 'cultural attaches' or entirely separately from official representatives.

So, unless you have actual evidence of a proposal to give the PRC police powers in Taiwan, what is the point in opposing this measure? Do you think that the anonymous internet commentary quoted by TT is conclusive of anything? So what if they are an 'overtly political police' - their every-day task is the same as that of police forces everywhere - investigating acts which are criminal in all jurisdictions.

Currently PRC policemen and military servicemen are stationed in most countries, they act as attaches and liaison officers - and officially nothing more. These states are neither occupied nor controlled by China as a result of this. If a state of peaceful co-existence is ever to be achieved this must occur in Taiwan also.

As for what my political ideals are, I believe that the Taiwanese people should decide their own future through democratic means.

Anonymous said...

"NGNB said...

Great!! 求之不得!!! The sooner the better!! 就怕你賴在台灣不走啊. As a matter of fact, all of the foreigners supporting TI with no intention of sheding your blood, or scraificing your family or your property should leave Taiwan tomorrow.
ㄏㄡˋ真是無聊 "力勒 一天伽晚甲叭無代痣走 在台灣靠腰"
We Taiwanese will be happy NOT to see your face again EVER!! BYE~~ BYE~~"

Gosh, what a hater. Multiculturalism is one of the values we proudly celebrate in Taiwan. We welcome people from all over the world to live here and enjoy our culture and land. The last thing we need is someone like you spreading hateful comments around. We certainly don't need PRC police to tell us how to live our lives, too.