LOL. Concerns were raised among Taiwan observers when eight Taiwanese acquitted of fraud in a trial in Kenya were handed over to Chinese authorities this week. In 2011 Philippines sent a group of fraudsters off to China. It took months of negotiation to get them back.
Most of the discussion has focused on the sovereignty issue, and warning that this is ZOMG A BIG DEAL with REPERCUSSIONS for the incoming Administration. But note how the outline of the two cases, Philippines and Kenya, are the same: a mixed group of Chinese and Taiwanese accused of fraud, and Beijing gets the Taiwanese deported back to China.
Taiwanese are regularly involved in crimes abroad, but deportations back to China are rare. In fact, one never hears that China has asked for Taiwanese criminals to be returned to it rather than Taiwan. People asking about the effect this kidnapping on Taiwan's place in the world or sovereignty or cross-strait relations are asking the wrong question, probably because they are permanently trapped in the media matrix where everything Taiwan is related to China by refracting it through the lens of cross-strait politics, and no other meanings are possible.
I love Kenya but honesty compels me to admit that Kenya is a major transit state for money laundering, drugs, and other illicit activities. It is the "single easiest place in the world" to carry out illicit financial activities, in fact. I suspect that those Taiwanese were deported back to China because they knew something about illicit activities of China in Kenya, and Beijing wanted to have a little chat with them before they were handed back to Taiwanese authorities.
UPDATE: Another 37 forced on plane to China, bringing total to 45. If this is a sovereignty thing aimed at Tsai Ing-wen or Ma Ying-jeou, why do they need them all? Completeness is only necessary if you want to make a clean sweep of something. Like if you want to make sure of how much a group of people knows about something... Also it's fan-feces time, as some news media reporting that at least one abductee has a US passport.
- CNN Travel piece on Mazu festival. Everything wrong: Doesn't mention the gangster links of the modern Matsu procession. Doesn't mention its political function. There is no mountainous or rugged terrain involved. The Chaotien Temple in Beigang is nowhere near Taichung city, but is about 90 kms south of it. LOL. So many competent travel writers on this island, why not choose one of them?
- BBC produces an entire article on the passport stickers from the China government point of view, never mentions why Taiwanese might want them.
- Export decline to continue
- Stratfor on 17C Dutch-China similarity. Writer is clueless about both, but there are some tables on Chinese investments overseas.
- The spy case; Taiwan-born US naval officer accused of spying. Typical set up with honey pot and everything.
- KMT making push in south.
- Taiwan's super gun ready to fight China. Yeah, it will fire about three rounds before it is killed.
- Satirical Facebook Hualien independence page is darling of PRC netizens and media
- Taiwan's air defense problems among the most difficult in the world.
- Popularity of Taipei Mayor Ko falling...
- Biopharma in Taiwan
[Taiwan] Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!