Forced extraditions to China


The point (according to MT) is that the PRC is sick and tired of fraudsters causing trouble–and they have attempted to do something about these guys, and were actively doing so way before Tsai Ying-wen was elected, and so (according to MT) if you simply look at the recent forced extradiction of Taiwanese to the PRC through the narrative of “China is flexing its muscles trying to teach the DPP a lesson” you are missing the story. Oh, and Taiwan’s MOFA knew about these cases in Kenya for quite a while and simply sat on their hands.

/executive summary over



Well, I, for one, am pleased to learn that the authorities in China have recently done an about-face and now oppose schemes that deceive large numbers of people. It’s hard for me to figure out what caused this turning over of a new leaf on the part of the folks in charge over there, but if I had to guess, I would say the recent affair described below may have served as a sort of wake-up call:

[quote]There were the positive profiles in state-controlled media, as well as the company’s advertising on official TV. There was the section of his company’s website devoted to building Communist Party spirit.

But it all came crashing down in dramatic fashion for Mr. Ding this week, when the police alleged that his financing business, Ezubao, was a $7.6 billion Ponzi scheme and announced 21 arrests, including of Mr. Ding. The company was shut down.

The charges were conveyed by the same official outlets whose favor Mr. Ding once curried — CCTV, the official TV broadcaster, and Xinhua, the main government news agency. And for some investors and employees, that apparent reversal smacked of hypocrisy.[/quote]–Neil Gough, “Ponzi Scheme in China Gained Credibility From State Media,” New York Times, February 5, 2016 … .html?_r=0

But whatever the reason for the Chinese authorities’ change of heart, here’s to no more bad old days:

[quote]The determination to stage a perfect Olympic Games may also have delayed revelation of the adulterated milk powder. Twenty-one topics were banned from Chinese media during the Olympics – eighth on the list was food safety scandals.[/quote]–Jane Macartney and Sophie Yu, “Chinese milk powder contaminated with melamine sickens 1,253 babies,” The Times of London, September 16, 2008 … 758549.ece

[quote]The May 12 disaster left nearly 88,000 people dead or missing, including 9,000 school children, according to official reports.

The poor condition of the school buildings has become a sensitive political issue for the government, and grieving parents have staged numerous protests demanding an inquiry.

Many have accused local officials of colluding with builders to allow them to get away with cheap and unsafe practices.

“Instead of investigating and pursuing accountability for shoddy and dangerous school buildings, the authorities are resorting to (labour camps) to silence and lock up concerned citizens like teacher Liu Shaokun,” said Sharon Hom, head of the rights group.[/quote]–“Chinese man held over earthquake photos,” The London Telegraph, July 31, 2008 … hotos.html

[quote]China has conceded it has been hiding the full extent of the SARS epidemic and that it has it by no means under control. As the Chinese Government admitted covering up, two high ranking officials were sacked in a bid to save face. The revised figure for the number of SARS cases in Beijing has jumped ninefold, and it is now believed almost 2,000 people are infected in China and four more people died from the disease today.[/quote]–“China admits SARS cover-up,” Lateline, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, April 21, 2003


Turton makes a strong case there. It’s Turton saying it, which should tell you something. Not every case can be looked at through the local lens (and a well-crafted, time-honed and generally quite accurate lens it is) of fear of Chinese intentions. Criminals getting extradited is something that happens. Not to judge guilt or innocence, but–I’m struggling to use family-friendly language here–telephone scammers getting extradited is particularly unsurprising. I wasn’t aware of the previous case where scammers were extradited and apparently received light sentences, or the scale of Taiwan>China scam operations, or that Kenya hadn’t tried them on fraud charges. Informative piece.


Well, it doesn’t seem as colorful as his earlier piece, in which he uses such phrases as “dysfunctional, febrile nationalism,” “tumescent twaddlenoise,” and “insensate nationalism sweeping the nation,” and writes of “[t]he collective IQ of Taiwan’s chattering classes” having gone “kerplunk! somewhere into the Indian Ocean east of Mombasa.” (“Kenya Deportations: Taiwan Drinks the Heady Gaoliang of Febrile Nationalism,” The News Lens, April 16, 2016)

In other words, in Mr. Turton’s view, the Taiwanese are obviously being stupid and crazy for not trusting China’s intentions in this matter.

But if we missed the point initially, it’s no matter, since China drove the point home with flanking police officers, black hoods, green vests, televised confessions, and of course, the ever-popular “One-China Principle”:

[quote]“Maintaining the One-China principle is an important prerequisite and a necessary basis for all countries in the world in developing relations with China,” the spokesman, Lu Kang, said. “We highly appreciate the Kenyan government’s long-term commitment to the One-China principle.”[/quote]–Jeffrey Gettleman and Austin Ramsey, “Taiwan Accuses Kenya of Illegal Deportations as More Are Sent to China,” New York Times, April 12, 2016 … kenya.html

[quote]“The Chinese are definitely trying to send a message,” Mr. Ku said. “Before this case, the Taiwanese were used to being consulted by China. The level of trust that made the agreement work seems to have broken down.”[/quote]–Dan Levin, “China to Prosecute Taiwanese in Fraud Case Despite Acquittals in Kenya,” New York Times, April 13, 2016 … kenya.html

I acknowledge the going-after-scammers part (not that anyone cares what I think :laughing: ), but it looks like a two-for-one deal to me.


China is going to work that into whatever they do whenever they can, as a matter of principle. However, the available evidence in this case doesn’t support the contention that they acted with the intention of attacking Taiwan politically. If they start extraditing people left and right or for more specious or obviously political reasons, I’ll be concerned. I would certainly keep my eyes open for such developments, but getting too excited about the camel’s nose under the tent doesn’t make sense to me here.


China can’t be doing that great a job, let’s be honest. By their own admission it’s a problem that’s gotten out of hand and is growing daily and people are even committing suicide in their droves – so it would seem their law enforcement has been just as lax as Taiwan’s, worse maybe… Which is not surprising really in a country where the line between politics and gangsterism has become so blurred.

“Justice!” As a lawyer, what does that word mean to you exactly? And just out of curiosity, what would satiate your blood lust with regard to these very minor players who weren’t even operational, were possibly duped themselves, and were found innocent by the High Court in Kenya? And bear in mind, some of them have already served one-year’s jail in a Kenyan prison while their cases were being heard. Should they be now taken out and shot in front of their families? Would that do it? Maybe throw in a bit of public torture beforehand for good measure?

Anyway, I don’t like to be just negative; here’s a better solution:

  1. Run an educational advertising campaign in China and Taiwan to alert people to telephone fraud, in case they somehow don’t know about it already. The key messages, in bold print should be:

Don’t give your bank details or passwords to anyone on the phone
Don’t transfer money to the accounts of random people that call up

These are pretty learnable things. And if they are learnt, then the problem is half-way solved.

  1. Go after the masterminds. Sure it’s good for whipping up the pitchfork hysteria by parading a few dumb-arsed telephonists confessing on the box and labelling them ‘evil’ and ‘throwing the whole book and hammer at them’ – but let’s face it – it doesn’t solve the problem. They are disposable minnows – maybe even plankton. Half of them are probably desperate losers who are being conned themselves – by the masterminds. (It’s like doing an ostentatious victory dance coz you locked a ‘suspected’ imported prostitute up for years when you should have been going after the people smuggler.) If either Taiwan or China were genuine about solving the problem of unscrupulous business behaviour in general, then that would seem the obvious course to take. So why aren’t they?

At least in Taiwan, we the people, have mechanisms to apply pressure for a change to rampant corruption. In China, you get the torture chamber for that. And they call it ‘Justice’.


This has been noted before, but this isn’t a victimless crime. Such people personally seek out the most vulnerable members of society and take steps to defraud them without any concern about harming them or their families. I wouldn’t wish Chinese justice on anyone, but such vermin deserve the severest possible penalties in my book, minnow or not.


Well, Tempo Gain, they weren’t operational, so it actually was a “victimless ‘crime’”, which the first batch were found innocent of anyway by the High Court in Kenya.

And the dark secret is, you do wish the Chinese ‘justice’ system on them - that’s exactly what you’re lusting for - a bit of good old fashioned torture and indefinite imprisonment - “the severest possible… minnows or not”. In fact, innocent or not, right?


[quote]Well, Tempo Gain, they weren’t operational, so it actually was a "victimless ‘crime’, which the first batch were found innocent of anyway by the High Court in Kenya.

If they were engaged in a conspiracy to defraud people, they’re criminals. That’s not what “victimless crime” means. I brought it up as you mentioned prostitutes, which I would say qualifies generally (as far as the prostitutes themselves.) According to the OP, they were “were acquitted by a Kenyan court of operating telecommunications equipment without a license”.

Oooh, how lurid! Whatever. You could try reading my post again.


I agree with you, but the questions remain:

  1. Are all these guys really that kind of vermin? I mean, are we certain? All of them?

  2. Are they being put on trial because they are vermin or because they are not Chinese approved and backed vermin?

  3. Will they even get to see their day in court or be handed like vermin and get “lost” in the system, never to be seen again?

  4. Will the victims get any compensation as it is or any money recovered will end up in some officials’ pocket?

It is China we are talking about.


1 - True any time someone is arrested, and no less in China certainly. My comment was intended to call actual telephone scammers–they’ve called me many times so I know they exist–vermin, no more no less.

As for the rest, indeed it’s China. I wouldn’t want any part of their justice system personally, and as I’ve said I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. But it seems Taiwanese are involved in telephone fraud in China on a massive scale. I’d be happy to be proven wrong about that, but I don’t find it difficult to believe. China, for all its warts, is a sovereign state. That is an unpleasant reality for Taiwan in many ways and certainly not limited to this case. There is no possible paradigm where China is going to willingly abrogate its sovereign rights because of its flaws. And no one is even going to seriously try to make them do so. In a perfect world that would happen. But how? Should the Taiwanese government take some kind of stand over this? I hope they’re looking into the facts of this. It appears that they neglected to do so until far after the point where some difference might have been more easily effected. They haven’t even tried now as far as I know. Maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference. Telephone scammers exist in fact and aren’t popular people anywhere. If this becomes a modus operandi in other circumstances or they start turning up telephone scammers every month I’ll be concerned. Now it looks like a bunch of telephone scammers got extradited. That’s the way I see it anyway.


Indeed. I am not questioning the fact that scammers exist at all. I am questioning whether the ones they hold in China now under the label of “scammers” are truly all guilty of what they are being accussed. If no proper form is followed, this term and these procedures can become a catch all.

As you mention, a bigger problems seems legitimacy: seems Taiwan lost the upper hand by dealing so softly with these scammers. hence, it left this whole side open to bbe pummeled, right or wrong, by China -or anybody else by that matter. So I repeat one pf my original questions: who is the one protecting these Taiwanese scammers? Who is preventing law amendments or any kind of law enforcement?

This is a huge portion of the mafia. We are talking thousands of participants -and it seems indeed they are mostly Taiwanese- and thousands of millions in earning coming from Taiwan and China and many othe rplaces. Why is it that these illicit earnings are untraceable? In this day and age, where every ATM has a camera and you are asked 3 times whether you want to make a transfer or not -is this all the Governemt can do to protect its people? If the victims are tricked using the Government’s name -as it is mostly the case- why isn’t the Government doing more? Why can’t it get to the scammers, at least tax them? How can it be that the money is transfered… and lost?

Finally, as much as we dislike them, the problem with the “give them hell” attitude towards scammers is that any brand that generates an automatic response -and we know many of those, renegade, rebel, gay, fat, single, whatever- can be misued and thinking people are not the majority.


Tempo Gain, the ‘available evidence’ is China itself saying that their extradition was in fact connected to One-China. Is it even possible to get harder evidence than that? I can understand you ignoring both sides of the political spectrum in Taiwan who have labeled it as politically motivated, but when even the entity that you are desperately trying to defend contradicts you, then you might as well say that you are not interested in any evidence at all - and let’s get onto the fun stuff like giving thsese “vermin… the severest punishment possible…minnows or not(!)”

I have put up a common-sense solution to the problem - education of the public and going after the masterminds - but you have ignored that and remain hell-bent on punishing disposable small fry without the slightest regard for whether they are even guilty or not. Above all, I find that terribly sad. When a corrupt, totalitarian, human-rights oppressing regime like China has got people cheering their ‘severest punishment possible’ on from the side-lines, then really, God help us.


This is the key point: high level corruption - in Taiwan, and China. It involves a network of politicians/gangsters/businessmen (who are often the same thing - especially on a local government level), police chiefs, prosecutors, lawyers, and the judiciary. Unless something is done to overthrow this entrenched system, then it doesn’t matter how many hapless idiots are rounded up for show trials, the problem will continue.

It’s a scourge in Taiwan - but it’s far worse in China. If China was really serious about stopping phone scammers, or other forms of blatant corruption, then it would have been done already - their track record is just as bad as Taiwan’s - even worse.

As Icon says, how hard could it be? When a call centre is located, then hold your horses - investigate, gather evidence, infiltrate - until the boss guy pops his head up. Then make your arrests. Then just follow the money trail. So far, there seems no desire to do this on either side of the strait. The question is: why?

Instead of clamouring for a bunch of Taiwanese minnows to be burnt at the stake in China, we would be far better off clamouring for change in Taiwan. Where i live in Taidong, corruption is widespread, common knowledge, and just accepted - because people feel that there’s nothing they can do. How do you catch corrupt politicians when the prosecutor is corrupt? There’s no one to hold these people accountable.

As such, it’s a very difficult problem to solve - but by no means impossible. It requires a critical mass amongst the general public to say, ‘No. We’re sick of this - and now it’s time to do something about it.’

These staged Hunger Games with expendable minnows are nothing more than an orchestrated distraction - the time has come to go after the core of the problem - institutionalized corruption. Which so happens to be brought to you by the very same folks that are heroicly parading their haul of ‘vermin’ on TV.

In Taiwan, there are groups that are already taking up this fight against corruption. It’s a hard road, no doubt, but if enough of us get on board, then incredible things can happen. And if we don’t, they won’t.


Of course they should be going after the heads. That they don’t or can’t is typical. But really, if it weren’t for the tangent of these extraditions, we wouldn’t likely be talking about it, this aspect of it at least. It’s just a fraction of such scenarios here.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter. If you call up people on the phone until you find the most vulnerable one you can and talk them out of their money, I wish you the severest possible punishment under the law, and feel absolutely morally justified in it. Get the heads too! I never said we shouldn’t. Let me say it again to be clear: good idea–go for the heads. However, to not let such people run around happily calling up other people until we figure out a way to take down the heads pretty much seems like common sense to me. If you disagree, that’s fine.

I don’t want them to be sent to China either. As I’ve said and you seem to relish ignoring, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But China desiring to extradite such people doesn’t surprise me. It would happen anywhere.

Minnows take the fall everywhere too. But that’s the chance you take when you knowingly engage in vicious and heartless criminal activity.


Ok, my mistake, i apologize. I wrongly thought you were in the 'Let’s round ‘em up and see how they like a bit of ‘justice’, Chinese style’ camp.

So we agree on that basic point: The forced extradition of Taiwanese citizens to China is wrong.

But the thing is, TG, we don’t know for a fact that they were ‘knowingly engaging in vicious and heartless criminal activity’. Maybe they were intending to do that - but we don’t know. As the Quartz article suggests, it’s quite possible that at least some of them had just answered a job ad and didn’t in fact know what they were getting into. And as long as they are in China, we will never know.

The thing is, it’s not just this particular case that’s important – it’s the principle. For example, the right to free speech is a principle. It doesn’t work to say. ‘I support the right to free speech – except for when I don’t.’


No worries! Yeah, definitely not saying that.

That’s not quite what I said–I said I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Is it “wrong”? First off, no more wrong than it is to extradite anyone else there. Are you saying it’s different because they’re Taiwanese?

But you usually don’t really know whenever someone is charged with a crime. Personally I find it a bit of a stretch that they answered a job ad in Kenya and were sitting around with a bunch of telecom equipment not knowing what the hell was going on. But certainly we don’t know for sure, and we won’t. Still, it doesn’t seem contested that Taiwanese people have been engaged in large-scale telephone fraud into China based in other countries. Taiwan hasn’t dealt firmly with this issue until now as far as I know. That’s a set of circumstances that is going to aggravate any affected nation pretty severely. If it was the US say, I have no doubt they’d seek to extradite such people. The only thing seemingly different is that it’s China with what I understand is a basically medieval system of justice. Some countries seem hesitant to extradite there, but they have signed a lot of extradition treaties.

What’s the principle though? Should no world nation ever extradite anyone to China? That doesn’t quite seem to be happening. Is it only relevant to Taiwan? Well, what is Taiwan going to do. Realistically such an issue isn’t going to be affected except on the international stage. Would it be worth it for Taiwan to expend political capital on what until now is an isolated instance in which China could very well be totally correct about the guilt of those concerned? I don’t think so. If such events continue, then that time will clearly be at hand. Under the circumstances, I don’t see any benefit to standing on a poorly-defined principle. if China is obviously using extradition as a political hammer, the rest of the world is going to take notice, even when it comes to best ignored, preferably forgotten Taiwan.

I don’t think you’ll see it as a regular thing. I’d bet the message is out. The heads have to be a bit worried now. No one is going to say anything to the Kenyan police for sure. No glee here, but some time spent in China could easily change that situation. In any event, people are definitely going to think twice about conducting such activities in the future.


Actually, despite Chinese media reports, the ‘bunch of telecom equipment’ from the 2014 case was just some cell-phones and a few computers - they didn’t even have an internet connection - so it seems quite feasible that they didn’t know what was going on. Maybe they did - i don’t know - but there is certainly room for reasonable doubt.

But evidently, China hasn’t dealt with it firmly either. Phone scamming is not a new thing - it’s been around for many years. And just coz they make a show trial out of a bunch of minnows, doesn’t mean they are dealing firmly with it now. As Icon says, why aren’t they going after the big fish?

Actually, not many. And most of those have pretty dubious legal systems themselves. America continues to refuse to sign an extradition treaty with China, as does Canada, France, the UK, Germany, Japan, and in fact, most major countries.

The principle is the right to a fair trial.

The world is taking notice. That’s why all those major countries refuse to sign extradition treaties with China. It’s also why Law Societies around the world oppose extradition to China.


By a Taipei Times account, it appears that the 45 Taiwanese were deported on the eighth and twelfth of last month (Staff and CNA, “Kenya deports dozens; Taipei furious,” April 13, 2016). … 2003643827

Televised confessions apparently occurred on April 15, seven and three days after the two groups were deported (AFP, “China parades detained Taiwanese on state TV,” Yahoo News, April 15, 2016). … 15869.html

From the above, as far as I’m concerned, analysis can end right there. From the above, I don’t feel a need to address issues of guilt, sovereignty, or international law.

But I found this helpful:

[quote]The main reason for the spate of confessional television in China is, in fact, political: it is a conscious policy of the regime of Xi Jinping, China’s ruler for the past three years. In an illuminating essay last March, David Bandurski of the China Media Project at the University of Hong Kong pointed out that what he called “China’s confessional politics of dominance” has its roots in the Communist Party’s own history, and in the Soviet influences that helped shape it before it took power.

In writing self-criticism, the secret is to ponder not truth, justice or cultural norms, but what your reader wants. As Mr Bandurski put it: “As in the past, today’s culture of confession is not about accountability, clean government or a rules-based system. It is about dominance and submission.”[/quote]–Banyan (in recent years, the pen name of Simon Long), “A confession to make: What the current vogue for televised confessions and apologies says about Xi Jinping’s China,” The Economist, January 30, 2016 … ings-china


Should people be extradited to North Korea?