UNIVERSIADE: Taiwan in contact with U.S., Japan on counter-terrorism

Taiwan has been maintaining close contacts with the United States and Japan to obtain counter-terrorism intelligence in preparation for the 2017 Universiade, a Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) official said Saturday.

Although Taiwan is not a member of the International Police Organization (Interpol) and lacks direct access to its databases, the government has been gathering information shared by Interpol with the assistance of Japan, according to CIB deputy chief Ma Chen-hua.

The European Police Office has also promised to assign counter-terrorism experts to Taiwan to help maintain security during the Universiade, being held from Aug. 19 to 30 in Taipei, and its member states will also share information with Taiwan, Ma said.

In addition, police in the participating athletes' countries will also provide Taiwan with related information, he said.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's representative to France, Zhang Ming-zhong, said his office had previously approached Interpol with a request to access its I-24/7 global police communications system to identify suspicious individuals participating in the Universiade, but Interpol replied that Taiwan has to do so via Beijing.

Taiwan was forced to withdraw from Interpol in 1984 when China joined the organization.

The incumbent Interpol president, Meng Hongwei, is a Chinese national. He was elected to the post last November and will be in office until 2020.