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China not aggressive enough in repatriating Taiwan fugitives: official

2010/03/28 19:56:42

Taipei, March 28 (CNA) A ranking justice official said Sundaythat China has not been aggressive enough in helping to returnTaiwanese fugitives who are hiding in the mainland.

Nevertheless, Vice Justice Minister Wu Chen-huan said, Taiwan andChina have been making great efforts to jointly crack down on crimesacross the Taiwan Strait, in line with an agreement they struck lastApril and which took effect two months later.

At a Taipei seminar held to mark the 20th anniversary ofcross-strait scholastic exchanges in the field of law, Wu mentionedsuccesses such as the busting of telephone and online fraud rings,and allowing family members to visit prisoners on the other side.

However, while Taiwan has been quick to respond to Chins'srequests for judicial assistance, this has not been the case on theother side, probably because of China's vast land area, he said.

In addition, he noted, Taiwan has designated the Ministry ofJustice as the single agency to deal with cross-strait judicialcooperation, while in China this responsibility is spread out amongthe Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, theMinistry of Justice and the Ministry of Public Security.

"Many of Taiwan's requests are pushed around among the differentdepartments for quite a long time and some eventually get rejected, "Wu said.

He also raised the question of why most of the Taiwan fugitivesarrested and repatriated by Chinese authorities are those wanted forcrimes other than financial fraud.

China has been criticized as being reluctant to send back thescores of Taiwanese who have fled to escape penalties for economiccrimes, including Chen You-hao, former chairman of the now defunctTuntex group. Chen fled to China in 2001 leaving around NT$60 billion(US$ 1,9 billion) in unpaid bank loans here.

Wu urged the Chinese scholars at the seminar to help prompt therelevant mainland agencies to handle cross-strait cooperation in amore efficient way.

(By Chang Ming-kun & Bear Lee)
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