Taiwan reiterates concern over Spain’s deportation decision

Taipei--The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) reiterated Sunday that it is gravely concerned over what it describes as an "unfriendly" decision by Spain to deport a group of Taiwanese telecom fraud suspects to China.

The ministry said it will again summon Spain's representative to Taiwan, to whom it will reiterate its stance on the issue and inform the representative of its intention "to review the existing bilateral cooperation and interaction in a strict manner."

The Spanish government decided to accept a demand from Beijing for the extradition to China of 269 Taiwanese and Chinese nationals recently arrested in the European country for their involvement in telecom fraud, according to the MOFA.

The decision has infringed upon the rights of the Republic of China (Taiwan) nationals and defies the European tradition of humanism, the ministry said in a statement released the previous day.

On Sunday, Taipei further criticized the Spanish administration for ignoring the Nationality Principle, which recognizes that a sovereign nation can adopt criminal laws that govern the conduct of that sovereign's nationals even while outside of the sovereign's borders.

The MOFA regrets that the Spanish authorities decided to deport the Taiwanese suspects to mainland China and strongly condemns the decision, the ministry said.

The suspects were arrested in December in a joint operation between Spain and China, and more than 200 out of the 269 are ROC nationals, according to the MOFA.

Over the past two months, the government has been negotiating with Spain in the hope that the Taiwanese suspects can be brought back to Taiwan for investigation and trial, but the request has apparently not received any affirmative response from the Spanish authorities.

The MOFA last month summoned Spain's representative to Taiwan, Jose Luis Echaniz Cobas, to whom it elaborated the government's stance on the issue, asking for the deportation of the Taiwanese nationals to Taiwan based on the Nationality Principle.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel