Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Deportations from Kenya to China: you're asking the wrong question

Longtime and well known expat Donovan Smith, who is part of the Compass Magazine team and is also the ICRT central Taiwan news man, enjoys the 149A below Caoling. 

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.
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Robert Scott Kelly said...

Re. the Mazu Pilgrimage. It's also bullshit to say that the pilgrimage is inscribed by UNESCO when China made the claim for all Matsu culture. The Taiwan pilgrimage is an entirely local affair, especially its current size which is the result of gangster Yan Ching-biao's machinations and also the craziness of local media.

Anonymous said...

It's a dangerous slope from assuming that people are guilty before proven innoncent to people are still guilty after acquittal, regardless of if the snatched people are really fraudsters, simple tourists as they claim, or involved in any other shady dealings. Why China is doing it is the wrong question to ask, a moot question with the current level of information. It's the method that is the problem, and it has everything to do with sovereignty, but not the cross strait sovereignty. They snatched Non-citizen-non-criminal from another country without giving any reason, it's not even an extradition. If they can do that to people cleared of fraudulent charges, surely they can do that to people with more serious crimes according to their law, like subverting the nation. Then they just have to outlaw anything they don't like and snatch anybody from any place. It's not just Taiwanese who should be angered by this transgression.

B.BarNavi said...

The recent spring of "Everyone independence" groups has the stench of Blue astroturf.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The spy story brought out so much enmity toward Taiwan and Taiwanese Americans in the comment sections of American media. Sad. Those, and Trump supporters.

The first reaction of my parents was to ask where he was from, to my surprise. To them, only KMT waishengren would engage in such shenanigan. But it doesn't make a difference to the Joes.

Unknown said...

That Mazu article is three years old.

Anonymous said...

Whole incident regarding Kenya is turning into a crisis. China now has precedent in which they will pay African country to arrest Taiwanese national. Any person that voice Taiwan independence can suffer the same fate.


From this article....

"Due to the complicity of various regimes that have developed close ties with Beijing over the years, this latest incident also suggests that Taiwanese “criminals” — a category that, under the PRC’s National Security Law, which supposedly extends to Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, could include “splittism” and other loosely defined threats to national security — no longer have assurances of due process when they travel abroad.

According to Reuters, on April 8 — the same day the Taiwanese were loaded on the plane to China — Kenya announced it would receive a new loan of $600 million from China to help Nairobi address its budget deficit."

Unknown said...

When you speak Chinese, consort with Chinese, vote Chinese and travel under the "protection" of Mazu (媽祖) and a Chinese passport . . . evil things are bound to happen to you. . . . The bitter rewards of helping an armed refugee group localize amongst you so that they can keep on fleecing you.

And the last straw . . . Chinese Taihoku (中華台北), the incubator of Chinese moles and spies. . . The relevant emoji fails me here.

Anonymous said...

Kenya Crisis is now on top of CNN international edition.



This is getting dangerous since no one know how to back down and save face.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Taiwan Justice department might have actually helping Beijing to grab the Taiwan "criminal" while Taiwan diplomat was working on getting those people to be repatriated to Taiwan.

Sometime I wonder if those people are working for Taiwan or just follow anything Beijing said.

TaiwanJunkie said...

As a lay person trying to figure things out, I'm still trying to figure out why we are asking the wrong question.

Here's the facts I've gathered from the media. Perhaps some may not be fact, if so, my apologies.

1. These Taiwanese were found to be not guilty by the Kenyan court after over a year of detention.
2. Kenya stated they are deporting them to their home country, and since Taiwan is part of China, they are deporting them to China.
3. The lone Thai national in the whole group was deported to Thailand with possibility of future extradition to China.

In normal circumstances, you would think all 45 Taiwanese would be deported to Taiwan, followed by extradition request by China. Isn't that the legal and right thing to do?

When Kenya deport these guys to China, yet deport the Thai national to Thailand, does this not degrade our sovereignty?

When China intercept Taiwanese abroad and forcefully incarcerate them in China, does this not also degrade our sovereignty?

I know we Taiwanese all have a chip on our shoulder with sovereignty issues because of decades of constant international bullying by China, but I can't help but ask the same sovereignty question on this one over and over again. This seems very clear cut here.

Anonymous said...

According to international law professor Julian Ku, China stands on pretty solid legal ground in this matter.


Anonymous said...

No the Taiwanese are not asking the wrong question. TaiwanJunkie above is quite right.