Saturday, April 16, 2016

Kenya Deportations: Complicity, due process, Tsai Ing-wen....

Campgrounds springing up everywhere nowadays wherever land owners can clear flat space.

“If you know it is a scam ring, do not participate in it. Do not make the world 
think that Taiwanese are all involved in these kinds of [shady] businesses,” he said.

Vox had a nifty piece on the Kenya deportation mess which tried to explain what is going on. Unlike most of the pieces in the media, this once actually referred, if sketchily, to the cross-strait organized crime nexus.
These Taiwanese have attracted such interest from Beijing because they are allegedly members of Chinese and Taiwanese criminal gangs who frequently work together, Richard Bush, director of the East Asia Policy Center at the Brookings Institution, explained to me.
Kudos to someone for actually pointing that out.

Let's explore this for a second. There's a massive outpouring of indignant nationalist feeling, coupled with government protests and legislative posturing, right now in Taiwan, directed at China.

What's China? It's that wonderland where scores of Taiwanese criminals from local gangsters to corporate embezzlers, people largely connected to A Certain Political Party, have fled while on bail. There they reside in perfect safety, unmolested by either the Chinese or Taiwanese governments. The Taiwan government has obstinately refused to close this loophole despite long-simmering public anger about it. No complicity there!

But let's also remember, as I am fond of pointing out, that one of the chief beneficiaries of the cross-strait rapproachment and business investment over the last two decades is cross-strait organized crime, which operates banks, stolen art networks, and movement of individuals for escape from the law, sex work, and ordinary labor. Neither government disturbs these extensive networks. Indeed there are places where spouses of major criminal figures involved in these cross-strait criminal networks have run for public office under the umbrella of A Certain Political Party. It's these networks that facilitate the escape of wanted individuals from Taiwan to China. It's these networks, as China correctly if hypocritically notes, that operate globally, and move as pressure on them shifts.

You'll forgive me if, looking at this Kenya case, I've come to the cynical conclusion that the Taiwan government is only worried about its criminals going to China if there is some possibility that they might actually be prosecuted.

Two other things need to be pointed out. First, was this move in Kenya directed at the incoming DPP Administration? Don't make me laugh. It had nothing to do with that. It was, as I said yesterday, part of China's campaign against phone scammers around the Indo-Pacific rim. China itself said this over a year ago.

Here is a report from the Kenyan newspaper The Nation (ah, does that bring back memories) dated Jan 15, 2015 (and CS Monitor but The Nation report is better). Please note that this was a year ago:
The Chinese Government has formally asked Kenya to hand over 76 of its citizens who are facing cyber-crime charges in Nairobi.

The suspects arrested in Nairobi had stolen close to Sh1.5 billion from their victims in China through electronic fraud, Chinese authorities revealed, as they pushed Kenya to have them extradited.

.....

According to the police in Nairobi, the 76 Chinese and one Thai national were arrested in the upmarket Runda Estate for operating an illegal telecommunications system.

.....

China’s argument has been that the suspects are part of a global syndicate targeting China and that other groups had been arrested in the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and Egypt over the last two years.

In December, a Chinese police team came to Nairobi to, according to the embassy, “jointly investigate” the case with their Kenyan counterparts. However, the group is said to have pressed for a handover of the suspects.
So... anyone want to argue that the PRC government, 16 months ago, presciently arranged to have 8 of the Taiwanese suspects sent to jail for a year on bogus document charges (oh yeah -- acquitted on "all charges"? Bullshit!) so that the group could be bundled onto a plane right on time for it to be a message to the newly-elected Tsai Ing-wen Administration? Be serious.

But let's yak for a minute about "due process". Suddenly lots of people talking about due process. Well, the report from a year ago clearly indicates that China was asking about this well over a year ago. Taiwan had over a year to publicize the case and to secure due process, if it cared to.

Due process? Two cases this week -- a bunch of alleged Taiwanese scammers were repatriated from Indonesia. No noise from Beijing, as I noted in the post below. Another crew deported from Malaysia as well. China had reportedly asked about them, but from the media reports it wasn't clear whether Kuala Lumpur had decided to check with Beijing, or whether Beijing had acted on its own.

What happened to the crowd from Malaysia? As soon as they arrived in Taiwan, they were released, due to a "lack of evidence." An NPP legislator was out today complaining the whole thing was a setup. Indeed a KMT politician  admitted yesterday that light sentences for criminals returned to Taiwan were a problem.
When asked how the KMT caucus would respond to speculation that the Kenya incident was a warning from Beijing against the new government, Lin said: “We have to face reality as well; we had given light sentences to the fraudsters after they were extradited back to Taiwan, which had resulted in certain consequences.”
Note that the question asked whether Beijing was warning the new Administration. A KMT politician, instead of running with this softball question and lambasting the incoming Administration, refocused the incident on a real complaint: the kid gloves Taiwan gangsters get, not the sexy cross-strait framework that sells papers and enables international media workers and commenters to avoid cognitively demanding tasks like searching Kenyan newspapers on Google. My god! Beer please.

More seriously, the KMT politician essentially said what everyone knows: the government is complicit. Period.

Complicit. So if you talk to me about due process, I'm going to talk to you about complicity. Why on earth would any government send accused Taiwanese back to Taiwan? You are entitled to ask about due process only when you engage in it. Of course China very rationally grabbed those Taiwanese alleged scammers. The bad guys were going to get away, and China had been pursuing them for ages.

That release of accused scammers from Malaysia was exactly what China had complained about: when prisoners get sent back to Taiwan, they are immediately released. The KMT government goes right ahead and validates the Chinese complaint in the most clueless, arrogant manner possible: right in the middle of this hoo-ha, it releases a batch of returned accused criminals. It did this even though 32 accused remain in Malaysia, almost as if it were goading China to apply more pressure. It couldn't have at least gone through the motions of keeping them in custody for a few days?

Luckily for all concerned, the government took a strong stance:
In a statement issued Saturday, Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) said Premier Simon Chang (張善政) made it clear that the government will not condone any criminal acts involving its nationals, during a meeting held on related issues Friday.
It will, however, release them as soon as they get to Taiwanese soil.

I guess due process applies only to Taiwanese gangsters in Kenya. Once they are in Taiwan, foreign governments don't get any "due process" to work up a case against them and the victims lose all their "due process". Never mind that the alleged criminals are free to go back to their alleged work, defrauding victims both local and international, who aren't important anyway because they are victims, sheep born to be sheared, in the due process of things as they are. Poo-tee-weet.

Meanwhile the legislature was screaming that China really ought to show the evidence against the deportees. LOL. Despite overwrought claims that cross-strait agreements on crime were dead, the Taiwan government is sending a large delegation to China to handle the case on Monday.

So what is all this nationalistic noise about? Seems like there was some serious la-de-da in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in getting these people back to Taiwan -- if that is what was wanted. Maybe all this noise is to conceal the fact that MOFA simply screwed up or really just didn't give a damn about the fate of a bunch of alleged vicious low-lives -- or worse, tossed China a bone by permitting the suspects to be deported there, then pretended to be upset about it.

It's not a coincidence that outpourings of puerile nationalism occurred when the alleged illegal fisherman was killed in Phils a couple of years ago, and again when some alleged gangsters are sent off to China. Like I said two days ago, all this static is just white noise concealing a basic fact nobody wants to talk about: from tuna poachers to phone scammers, one of Taiwan's chief exports is organized crime.

UPDATE: I was wrong. The Thai national was returned to Thailand.
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35 comments:

Anonymous said...

@Michael, great job! Not arguing along ideological lines but focusing on the actual underlying facts. Thanks, wished more journalists would do that.

Anonymous said...

i can understand the frustration about the organization crime issue in Taiwan but there is no use to talk about it until these criminal lose their political power. Please take a look at Tom Pendergast and what ended his influence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Pendergast

People similar to Tom Pendergast are currently in position of great influence across Taiwan in KMT and DPP. I believe it is the reason that Tsai cultivate New Power Party.

Organize crime is a political issue. These criminal will not exist without political patronage. This need a political solution.

Anonymous said...

As a long time reader, I think you more or less entirely miss the mark here. The fact that the Taiwanese people taken to China are most likely criminals is almost incidental to the case; what is at stake here is the Taiwan's ability to cooperate/participate in law enforcement with other nations (or lack thereof), and its implications for Taiwanese sovereignty. Countries with normal diplomatic relations can sign extradition and crime fighting agreements. This case is complicated by a third party, Kenya, but the essential questions are the same: what authority does China have to prosecute Taiwanese nationals off its shores, to what extent is this a result of Taiwan's lack of international recognition, and what, if anything, can the current government do about this? Even though we as individuals are sure a large number of those taken to China are criminal, the first and foremost goal of the government should be to ensure equitable treatment for all its citizens, regardless of their criminality. Unfortunately, like all too many Taiwanese, and indeed like too much of the Taiwanese legal system, you are too content with treating criminals as second class citizens , as if rights are something we choose to bestow. Your condescension towards Taiwanese nationalism--as if it were naive to demand one's compatriot's get a fair trial--and holier-than-thou attitude towards Taiwanese people in general (they're mostly criminals, apparently), are revealing.

Michael Turton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Turton said...

Your condescension towards Taiwanese nationalism--as if it were naive to demand one's compatriot's get a fair trial--and holier-than-thou attitude towards Taiwanese people in general (they're mostly criminals, apparently), are revealing

There is no point in responding thoughtfully to deliberate misconstrual of a text like this. If you really believe that, please stop reading, since communication with you is not possible.

Ji Xiang said...

@Michalel Turton:

accusing you of being condescending towards the Taiwanese people, and seeing them all as criminals, is completely unwarranted.

In general though, our anonymous commenter might have a point: these Taiwanese who were deported to China may be criminals, but why were they not deported to their own country instead of a third country? And what kind of a fair trial can they expect in China?

Michael Turton said...

In general though, our anonymous commenter might have a point: these Taiwanese who were deported to China may be criminals, but why were they not deported to their own country instead of a third country? And what kind of a fair trial can they expect in China?

What kind of fair trial could they get in Taiwan? The gov't answered that today when it let go the suspects from Malaysia, completely vindicating the Chinese position. The issue isn't "a fair trial" because Taiwan itself negated that issue when it simply released all the accused criminals it gets, or lets them buy their way out of sentences, and sends them out to hurt people again.

Taiwan has clearly signaled: fair trials aren't important.

Why were they not deported back to Taiwan? It's clear from what the Chinese have said: Taiwan simply lets them go.

Like those Malaysians.

You want to insist on due process? Show me some due process. Why would any government deport criminals it wants back to Taiwan, when Taiwan simply lets. them. go.

This is not about grand ideas like due process and human rights and Taiwan's place in the world. This is about Taiwan's behavior, and how insensate nationalism is being used to conceal that behavior from the Taiwanese themselves.

Michael

Jenna Cody said...

I agree that in Taiwan they wouldn't have been properly prosecuted. Absolutely.

Still not sure that this makes it OK to just take them to a totally different country. Like, if there were a crime ring of Americans and Mexicans operating in Brazil, America couldn't just take the Mexicans too without Mexico's prior agreement knowing they wouldn't be properly prosecuted in Mexico.

Anonymous said...

Some people have complained about the hooded escorting off the plane of the Taiwanese suspects. It is apparently standard practice for China. See here

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2015-11/10/content_22419720.htm

Michael Turton said...

Still not sure that this makes it OK to just take them to a totally different country. Like, if there were a crime ring of Americans and Mexicans operating in Brazil, America couldn't just take the Mexicans too without Mexico's prior agreement knowing they wouldn't be properly prosecuted in Mexico.

Nope, extraditions of non-nationals from third countries is standard practice. Countries do it all the time.

Michael Turton said...

In fact the Chinese took a Thai in that batch.

Anonymous said...

Example: Russian arms dealer Victor Bout (Russian) was arrested in Thailand upon US request, Thailand at first refused to extradite him to the US, but after lots of US arm twisting and pressure it did. He now sits in a US jail.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm repeating my point here again, but I maintain that nobody, even alleged suspects of any crime, should be sent to China. Specifically, China. I'm speak of any crime, any nationality. Your article and argument so far sounds pretty good until you stop short at explaining what's going to happen when these alleged suspects arrive in China. So you'd like to assume that they will be punished in a way that justice is served and victims compensated in any functioning society... But, are you sure?

You have been taking one-sided allegation from China at face value, and treating it as purely a criminal matter. What is more likely is that the Chinese government itself is hosting the biggest phone scam operation, and what you are writing is just China cracking down on its private sector counterpart that's eating Big Mafia's lunch.

NOBODY should be sent to China to stand trial if we can stop it, based on China's dishonest judiciary. I said it, China's judiciary and law enforcement is Mafia. In writing an article like this, you are essentially endorsing China's judiciary as if it were not Mafia.

Anonymous said...

Organized crime is deeply embedded with Taiwanese local politics. There is real danger when you face it. Solving it is not a trivial matter. Meaningful discussion is also very challenging. Let me give a anecdote from a source that I trust.

My cousin used to work as sales manager for a company with initial "I""B""M". He was involved in a bid for a university HPC(High Performance Computing) project. It was for university in Taichung area. One day he and his boss were invited to a meeting with all the vendors. After everyone sat down, a Taichung area politician entered the room.(hint: his family is famous for certain harbor construction material) After this politician sat down, he took a gun out of his suit and put on the desk in front of him then meeting start. My cousin said he stared at the gun for the whole meeting and had problem concentrating on the meeting itself. I jokingly said this is "negotiation Taichung Style". There is a reason that Taichung got the nickname "city of bullet".

I think this politician toned it down when deal with international high tech companies. They are more direct with fishing and construction industry. They are not gentle with journalist either.

Taiwan needs to fix its political environment before the Justice system can be improved. Without a functional Justice system, we are all stuck in a limbo.

Anonymous said...

For a taste of Taiwan criminal/politician problem, I recommend this movie:

https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%8F%9C%E9%B3%A5_(%E5%8F%B0%E7%81%A3%E9%9B%BB%E5%BD%B1)

The title songs is from great "滅火器Fire Ex"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRuyCTbyLN8

Michael Turton said...

NOBODY should be sent to China to stand trial if we can stop it, based on China's dishonest judiciary. I said it, China's judiciary and law enforcement is Mafia. In writing an article like this, you are essentially endorsing China's judiciary as if it were not Mafia.

Nope. I've made no endorsements of China's judicial system. I've simply said there is some possibility they might be punished (since in that sick system the conviction rate is 99%, the possibility is high). They might be allowed to go back to Taiwan after negotiations. Who knows?

But the point is, the Taiwan government is complicit in all these activities, because it refuses to punish criminals. So Taiwan has lost the right to complain about corruption in China's judicial system.

Anonymous said...

Today's SCMP mentions the Palermo Convention on Fighting Transnational Organized Crime as legal basis for China's action.
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1936617/taiwanese-group-sent-home-malaysia-allowed-go-free-angering-beijing

B.BarNavi said...

Really Michael? Is your head buried so deep into Tough-on-Crime sand that you refuse to see the FIELD DAY that anti-Taiwan Chinese nationalists are having over this issue? They took the 20 Taiwanese gangsters in Malaysia and their release as proof of Taiwan's inefficacy with crime (they're not wrong), and they're BATTERING the DPP with this. At least you know which party is actually to blame, but they don't care.

P.S. where was that Thai guy deported? The place where most of his victims were, like the rest of his collaborators? Guess again.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous I know I'm repeating my point here again, but I maintain that nobody, even alleged suspects of any crime, should be sent to China. Specifically, China. I'm speak of any crime, any nationality.

I am another anonymous turton reader and I agree with you on this. As it is, Communist China wants every man in the world and woman to become China-deportable. From publishing Chinese AIDS statistics to preaching Jesus coming back, the list of crimes is endless. No matter what nationality you are, Communist China wants you punishable by their laws.

The only thing Communist China isn't lack if is criminals. Why should the world supply them more?

Anonymous said...

Taiwanese organized crimes can be re-organized as a non-conventional weapon against China.Telecom scam is not a crime as long as the victims reside outside Taiwan.

Michael Turton said...

P.S. where was that Thai guy deported? The place where most of his victims were, like the rest of his collaborators? Guess again.

No idea. Haven't been able to find out. Did they send him to Thailand?

Really Michael? Is your head buried so deep into Tough-on-Crime sand that you refuse to see the FIELD DAY that anti-Taiwan Chinese nationalists are having over this issue? They took the 20 Taiwanese gangsters in Malaysia and their release as proof of Taiwan's inefficacy with crime (they're not wrong), and they're BATTERING the DPP with this. At least you know which party is actually to blame, but they don't care.

Not really understanding your position. You think because Chinese nationalists are anti-Taiwan a$$holes that I should stop writing and thinking and pointing out that this is a grave that both parties in Taiwan have dug?

Those men were rotting Kenya for a year. MOFA fucked up.

Now, belatedly, they are realizing their problems and the scammers in Egypt are getting some help.

http://m.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/2016/03/04/459808/Govt-to.htm

Jenna Cody said...

With prior agreement of sone kind. Extraditions require extradition treaties. That's why I said "without prior agreement". You can't just take anyone you want - Taiwan can't, say, send agents to the UK to nab Zain Dean back. There is at least one American pedophile living and teaching English in Taiwan - the US can't just kidnap him from Taiwan.

Of course I realize the US does it all the time, but they're not in the right either.

Anonymous said...

From Brooking Report
http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2011/08/31-mass-marketing-fraud-cheng

Transnational Organized Crime and Mass-Marketing Fraud: A Call for a Swift and Collaborated Response

. . . The perpetrators know how to exploit the incompatibilities amongst jurisdictions to create a low-risk environment for themselves and their fraudulent operations . . .

. . . When the perpetrators, victims, and the proceeds are all located in different jurisdictions, the question of which jurisdiction(s) should coordinate the investigation and collection of evidence from all other relevant jurisdictions arises. For one reason or another, . . . some jurisdictions are not always keen to take the lead role, or assist in an investigation or prosecution, particularly when the victims are not located in their jurisdictions.

Michael Turton said...

With prior agreement of sone kind. Extraditions require extradition treaties. That's why I said "without prior agreement". You can't just take anyone you want - Taiwan can't, say, send agents to the UK to nab Zain Dean back. There is at least one American pedophile living and teaching English in Taiwan - the US can't just kidnap him from Taiwan.

Kenya did have a prior one-off agreement with China to send these men there. The two governments very obviously had an agreement about this case. Kenya doesn't recognize Taiwan, and because MOFA's deep Blue diplomats despise Africans, they don't cultivate relations with them.

I needn't go on. This is a fuckup all the way down the line, totally Taiwan's, dating back decades, with deep roots.

Bottom line, Taiwan had a year to arrange things, but did nothing.



Anonymous said...

"This is a fuckup all the way down the line, totally Taiwan's, dating back decades, with deep roots. "....I totally agree so it is important to pick the right battle to fight and be smart about it.

Taiwan is very weak in international area due to our unique position in national identity yet we can not do much about it right now.

http://www.ptt.cc/bbs/Gossiping/index.html is in my opinion the best place to see "in-depth" discussion on current affair unlike the "echo chamber" of the facebook.

Here are three recent post about ordinary people's experience regarding Taiwan foreign missions:
https://www.ptt.cc/bbs/Gossiping/M.1460876204.A.946.html

https://www.ptt.cc/bbs/Gossiping/M.1460875256.A.0F1.html

https://www.ptt.cc/bbs/Gossiping/M.1460875425.A.0F1.html

Our Taiwan Diplomatic corp is rotten to the core due lack of funding and KMT's intentional neglect in favor of relationship with China.

Taiwan has been in a fuckup arrangement ever since US government let KMT govern Taiwan. Fixing these issues is not going to be easy and it will take a long process. Do we have enough time, I don't know.


B.BarNavi said...

My position is that it's crystal-clear that Taiwan's not the only side that's politicizing the extraditions, and it's obviously not a "business-as-usual" routine roundup of criminals. Your willing blindness to this in the name of objectivity is what's so bewildering.

Thai guy sources: http://www.peoplenews.tw/news/58eafa7d-fd2d-419e-9256-34f2a7ae5255
http://news.ltn.com.tw/news/politics/breakingnews/1662839

"此案中8名台灣人被送往中國,但當中1名泰國人卻是被遣返回泰國,質疑中國有意針對台灣。"

Michael Turton said...

My position is that it's crystal-clear that Taiwan's not the only side that's politicizing the extraditions, and it's obviously not a "business-as-usual" routine roundup of criminals

Nor did I say it was. I have no idea how you could ever think that from what I wrote. I spent two long blog posts explaining why it was interesting and unusual and a departure from all previous experience. Nor did I say China was not politicizing it. All I said is that it wasn't aimed at Tsai. But if you live in the X-strait media matrix, that is the only possible way to politicize, I guess.

Your willing blindness to this in the name of objectivity is what's so bewildering.

Your willing blindness to what I wrote is what is so bewildering.

Sometimes after comments like this, I wonder wtf I write for.

B.BarNavi said...

http://news.ifeng.com/a/20150315/43343057_0.shtml

This is from LAST YEAR. If anything, it demonstrates that China and its media were holding onto this case, waiting to strike at the right moment.

As for the veracity of the claims within, it's hardly likely that such a large proportion of Taiwan's population relies on the scamming industry for livelihood, but it does cause one to search deep into just how far the mafia's tentacles reach into Taiwan's daily life. Is it just the government, or is it much worse?

Michael Turton said...

This is from LAST YEAR. If anything, it demonstrates that China and its media were holding onto this case, waiting to strike at the right moment.

Yes, it shows how pissed off China was. All the signals were there. Nobody read them.

Is it just the government, or is it much worse?

It's everywhere, because everyone is touched by it. You can buy meat from mafia-owned butchers, get garlic from mafia distributors, say your morning prayer in the temple whose association is mafia-linked, take the mafia-owned intercity bus line to Taipei...


It's Taiwan's original sin.

Anonymous said...

So was China sending a signal to Ma in 2012? I don't think so.

Cambodia to Extradite Taiwanese to China

http://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/taiwan-05222012154740.html/

This thing has been going on for years. In 2011 more than 400 Taiwanese were rounded up in several Asian countries. Now they have gone global to Africa, South America and so on. It's an epidemic.

B.BarNavi said...

Dang, you make me not ever want to go back to Taiwan!! I'm skeptical that a justice reform can even begin to unravel the mob links, given that it's never worked elsewhere. Just like in New York and Chicago, organized crime is inescapable and the only hope is that they run the cities better than the elected government can. (See also: The Yakuza) The only problem is that in Taiwan, organized crime is basically in cahoots with (if not equivalent to) the government, and they're being used internationally as a battering ram against Taiwan and its average law-abiding people. (So there's a bit of a catch-22 there: promote relations with A Certain Party while that party's "affiliates" scam your citizens of millions, and when they cease to be useful, use those same "affiliates" to attack the nation that the party continues to govern. You see where I'm getting at here?)

Original sin, indeed. Where can our immaculate conception come from?

It remains to be seen how evolving democracy and civil society can deal with the organized crime issue, especially in light of the death penalty debate (super-ironically - or not - promoted by the likes of White Wolf). My guess is that due to the mafia's role in running Taiwanese society cohesively, people are simply going to focus on other issues instead of them.

Amusing anecdote: I once encountered a made man for the Hongmen while in Kaifeng, China. Three guesses where his boss was based. Even better - guess the city!

Michael Turton said...

B.BarNavi, many a night I have contemplated this problem. I don't see a solution, because everyone is compromised. The saving grace is that the gangsters do not ordinarily bother you, so you can pretend they don't exist.

Jenna Cody said...

"Kenya did have a prior one-off agreement with China to send these men there. The two governments very obviously had an agreement about this case. Kenya doesn't recognize Taiwan"

That's not what I said though - you can't just deport people back to other countries without the prior agreement of the country those people are actually from. It doesn't matter that Kenya had an agreement with China in terms of this being an acceptable thing to do. Kenya didn't have an agreement with the ROC, and neither did the ROC have an agreement with China, that this would be an acceptable outcome. That's the whole point!

I totally agree that the KMT is shitty and almost certainly is too racist to cultivate relationships with African countries (I'd say "or any countries with brown people" but then look at who actually are Taiwan allies - Panamanians, Guatemalans etc. aren't exactly whitey mcwhitersons - clearly there is some willingness to deal with 'brown people'). But would it have made a difference if they weren't? Those countries aren't going to give up their ties to China for the ROC, and there is no other way right now, thanks to China, to recognize Taiwan.

Which is kind of the **whole point**. It sucks, but doesn't matter in terms of where these people should have gone, that they wouldn't have gotten a fair trial in Taiwan, but it **is** a slight against Taiwanese sovereignty that they were sent to China without anyone asking the ROC what should be done with their own citizens.

Could the KMT have done a better job or at least a not-crappy job? Sure. No argument there. But despite their bumbling, it still says something about lack of respect for Taiwan on the world stage that Kenya never even bothered to ask the ROC what they thought should be done with their citizens, and treated an agreement with China as just as good as an agreement with the ROC vis-a-vis ROC citizens.

Was it a message to Tsai? No, I don't think so either. But was it really shitty to Taiwan? You betcha.

Jenna Cody said...

I mean, it would be like if Taiwan wanted Zain Dean back and made an arrangement with India that it would be OK that he be returned...what does that matter, when he's a British citizen? Or if America wanted a Mexican criminal hiding in Brazil, and Brazil agreed with the US to hand him over, without ever asking Mexico. It's not okay. Even if they would have never had a fair trial in Mexico - you can't just do that. Or, you shouldn't be able to.

Just so, if Kenya makes an agreement with China over ROC citizens, it shouldn't matter - they're not Chinese citizens.

Michael Turton said...

,That's not what I said though - you can't just deport people back to other countries without the prior agreement of the country those people are actually from

Yes, you can. Taiwan's Ministry of Justice has already indicated this in its statement last week. Under international law, because the crimes took place in China, China has the right to ask for the criminals. MOJ again:

"""""""“Chinese government officials said they are investigating the Taiwanese suspects for fraud involving phone scams. As these cases took place in China, they were asserting their legal jurisdiction in having the Taiwanese suspects forcibly taken to China,” she said.""""

Or if America wanted a Mexican criminal hiding in Brazil, and Brazil agreed with the US to hand him over, without ever asking Mexico.

This is normal behavior. See case of Victor Bout, extradited over Russian government protests from Thailand to US. Or Maxim Senakh. Such cases are not difficult to find.

You don't have a case. Taiwan's Ministry of Justice already said it was ok, and the practice of extraditing from third countries without permission is normal.

We should be using this to normalize Taiwan's status as a country separate from China.