Next week talks in China about Kenya crisis: MAC

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A Taiwanese delegation will travel to China next week to discuss the deportation of Taiwanese citizens from Kenya to Beijing, the Mainland Affairs Council said Friday.
The unexpected deportation by the African country of 45 Taiwanese citizens reportedly involved in telecom scams to China has caused an uproar in Taiwan, which sees the move as a brazen attack on its sovereignty.
The Legislative Yuan on Friday passed a motion calling for the immediate release of the Taiwanese citizens, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked to prevent a similar scenario from happening with 52 Taiwanese held in Malaysia, reports said.
The MAC said Friday it would send a delegation of fewer than 10 members to China next week for discussions about the case. Earlier, after the MAC had announced its attention, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office had replied with a fax saying that meetings with the suspects might not be opportune, triggering doubts about Beijing’s willingness to take part in talks.
The Straits Exchange Foundation, which manages the practical side of the cross-straits relationship, was arranging for relatives of the suspects to visit them in detention in China, the MAC said Friday.
MAC Minister Andrew Hsia chaired a meeting Friday morning with representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Criminal Investigation Bureau and the SEF to discuss how to tackle the problem, reports said. A name list for the delegation might be finalized during the afternoon, but officials also first wanted to see who would participate in the Chinese negotiating team.
The government has come under fire for an alleged lack of enthusiasm in the case, with Justice Minister Luo Ying-shay initially defending China’s stance that it held jurisdiction in the case because the victims of the scammers were Chinese citizens.