Taiwan's envoy to Manila recalled over deportation row

02/11/2011 - Taipei, Feb. 11 (CNA) Taiwan's representative to the Philippines Donald Lee returned to Taipei Friday after the government decided to recall him in protest against the Philippines' deportation of 14 Taiwanese fraud suspects to China.

Lee was scheduled to brief the media later in the day on how the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Manila had dealt with the case. Opposition lawmakers in Taiwan have alleged that he had not done his best to prevent the Philippines from sending the Taiwanese suspects to China instead of Taiwan.

The Philippines' repatriation of the 14 Taiwanese, along with 10 Chinese accomplices, to China on Feb. 2 drew strong protests from Taiwan.

In addition, Taiwan decided to recall its representative to Manila, tighten screening of applications by Philippine nationals seeking to work in Taiwan, and suspend its visa-waiver privileges for some Philippine citizens.

Taiwan said the Philippines had disrespected Taipei's position on the issue and had not apologized for the incident.

Meanwhile, Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu said earlier in the day that Taiwan has jurisdiction over the 14 Taiwanese suspects who were arrested in Manila by a China-Philippines anti-crime task force late last year on charges of cross-border fraud against Chinese nationals.

According to a ruling handed down by the Supreme Court in 1982, Taiwan has jurisdiction over its citizens who commit crime in China, Tseng said.

Against this backdrop, he said, Taiwan should ask China to repatriate the Taiwanese suspects to stand trial. (FOCUS TAIWAN NEWS CHANNEL)

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