Taiwan team travels to China over release of citizens

Taipei, April 19 (IANS) A Taiwanese delegation on Tuesday travelled to China to negotiate the release of the 45 nationals deported from Kenya to Beijing for alleged telecommunications fraud.

The delegation, comprising officials from Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, the Straits Exchange Foundation, the justice ministry and the department of criminal investigation is hoping to meet the detainees and get more details about the accusations and negotiate with Chinese authorities before they return to Taiwan on Friday, EFE news reported.

The ministry of foreign affairs of Taiwan had earlier called the deportation “extrajudicial abduction” and the opposition had strongly criticised China and the policy of the government, currently controlled by the Kuomintang Party.

Through the delegation, Taiwan is seeking to ensure that the rights of its citizens are respected and that the trial is held in Taiwan, although most observers in the country predict they will be tried in China, but may be allowed to serve their sentences in Taiwan subsequently.

Taiwan claims jurisdiction over its citizens while China, which does not recognise the island’s independence and considers it a renegade province within its borders, says it has jurisdiction in the case because the fraud victims were residents of mainland China.

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