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Cross-strait communication suspended after May 20: Chinese official

ROC Central News Agency

2016/06/25 11:20:25

Taipei, June 25 (CNA) China on Saturday rejected Taiwan's protest over the handover of Taiwanese fraud suspects caught overseas to Chinese authorities, saying for the first time that the cross-Taiwan Strait communications mechanism "has been suspended" since a new government was sworn in in Taipei last month.

An Fengshan, a spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, was answering reporters' questions about Taipei's protest over Cambodia's decision to accept Beijing's demand and send Taiwanese telecommunications fraud suspects to China for prosecution.

The mechanism for contact and communication between China and Taiwan "has been suspended" since the Taiwan side, after May 20, has not recognized the 1992 Consensus, which he said is the political foundation for cross-strait relations that embodies the one-China principle.

Beijing has said repeatedly that Taiwan's new government under President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) must accept the 1992 Consensus for the relatively warm bilateral ties over the last eight years to continue. Under the consensus, which was reached after cross-strait talks in 1992, the two sides agree there is only one China but each side is free to interpret its meaning.

Efforts to fight telecom fraud according to law and to protect the rights of victims have won the support of the people in both China and Taiwan, An added.

He said that there were 25 Taiwanese in the group of 39 suspects sent to China Friday but earlier reports indicated that the group sent to Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province included 18 Taiwan nationals.

An's comments came after Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council issued a press release Friday voicing regrets and protest over China's failure to respect the appeal by Taiwan that no more Taiwanese suspects should be sent to China until the two sides can work out a set of principles on how to handle such issues.

Taiwan's government has come under some domestic pressure and has tried to prevent Taiwan nationals arrested overseas from being deported to China although that pressure has eased somewhat after revelations that tens of thousands of Taiwanese, many of whom operate overseas to avoid detection, may be engaging in fraud activities that target Chinese as well as Taiwanese citizens.

Dozens of Taiwanese telecom fraud suspects were sent from Kenya and Malaysia to China earlier this year, triggering some angry response and prominent media coverage at the time.

In contrast, reports on the latest deportation were buried in the newspapers Saturday by coverage on the day-long strike by China Airlines flight attendants and Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

(By Yin Chun-chieh and Jay Chen)

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