TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Taiwan has denied it was demanding Hong Kong change its extradition laws, following fears that new legislation would allow China to have Taiwanese political opponents arrested and transferred to its jurisdiction.
The murder of a Hong Kong woman by her boyfriend during a holiday in Taiwan last year, and the failure so far of having the suspect moved to the island have led to calls for an extradition agreement between the two.
However, observers both in Hong Kong and Taiwan have warned that any changes might lead to the possibility of Beijing demanding the arrest of Taiwanese democracy activists in Hong Kong and their extradition to China.
On Thursday, an official in Beijing said the amendments were a reaction to requests from Taiwan, not from China. The comments led to a quick and strong denial by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), which described them as “total nonsense,” the Liberty Times reported.
Following the numerous doubts voiced about the legal changes, Hong Kong should listen to the complaints and take them into account, the MAC said. The government body still hoped Hong Kong could adopt a realistic attitude and work to sign a practical judicial cooperation agreement with Taiwan, according to the Liberty Times.