March 17, 2018

Taiwanese ‘forced on China-bound plane’

China does not recognise Taiwan as an independent nation

Taiwan says Kenyan police used guns and tear gas to force 37 of its citizens on to a plane bound for mainland China.

It follows the deportation to mainland China of eight other Taiwanese on Monday, prompting Taiwan to accuse Beijing of “extrajudicial abduction”.

China has praised Kenya for supporting its “one-China policy”.

China views Taiwan – self-ruling since 1950 – as a renegade region that must be reunited with the mainland.

China insists that other countries cannot recognise both China and Taiwan, with the result that Taiwan has formal diplomatic ties with only a few countries.

Taiwan does not have formal diplomatic relations with Kenya.

‘Assault rifles’

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said Kenyan police forced 22 Taiwan citizens, who were arrested on suspicion of fraud, to board a plane bound for China on Tuesday, despite protests from John Chen, Taiwan’s representative to South Africa.

Another 15 Taiwanese, who had been acquitted in the case, were also coerced into boarding the plane, the foreign ministry said.

Workers paste a sign reading
This poster accuses China of abducting the eight Taiwanese deported to the mainland, and demands their return to Taiwan

The police “threw tear gas” and brandished “assault rifles” to force them on to the plane, Antonio CS Chen, the chief of the West Asian and African Affairs section of Taiwan’s foreign ministry, told reporters.

A spokesman for Kenya’s interior ministry, Mwenda Njoka, told Reuters news agency that the 37 people “came from China and we took them to China”, adding that Kenya had “an obligation to ensure if people are here illegally they are taken back to where they came from”.

When asked about the case, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters: “The one-China policy is an important pre-condition for bilateral relations with China and other countries.”

“We commend Kenya for its upholding of this policy.”

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