Report: Beijing Using Extradition to Force Hundreds of Taiwanese into China

Paramilitary police officers stand guard in front of a poster of late communist leader Mao Zedong on a street south of the Great Hall of the People during the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing on May 22, 2020. - China moved to impose stringent new …
GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images

China’s government effectively “hunted” more than 600 Taiwanese nationals between 2016 and 2019 through forced extraditions to the mainland Communist state, the human rights group Safeguard Defenders alleged in a report published Tuesday.

“Safeguard Defenders has documented over 600 cases between 2016 and 2019 of Taiwan nationals abroad who have been extradited or deported from countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe,” the report, released on November 30, states. “However, they have not been returned to Taiwan. Under increasing pressure from Beijing, foreign governments are instead forcibly sending them to the PRC [People’s Republic of China].”

“These forcible transfers are also often taking place following the denial of access to Taiwanese consular support or communication in the sending country,” according to Safeguard Defenders.

Some of the alleged victims of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s forced extraditions and deportations between 2016 and 2019 were subsequently denied contact “with Taiwanese officials or family members” after arriving in China, the report revealed.

Safeguard Defenders describes itself as an Asia-focused “human rights NGO,” or non-governmental organization, based out of Madrid, Spain. The group says it has registered as a “foundation” in the European Union (E.U.), “under the name Fundacion Safeguard Defenders.”

Taiwan is a sovereign island nation located off of China’s southeastern coast. The Chinese Communist Party considers Taiwan a renegade province of China and has vowed to “reunify” the island with China by force if necessary, most recently in October. China has illegally laid claim to Taiwan for years but has recently increased its public threats to the nation’s sovereignty through belligerent military action.

In this April 12, 2018 photo released by Xinhua News Agency, the Liaoning aircraft carrier is accompanied by navy frigates and submarines conducting an exercises in the South China Sea. China has announced live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensions over increased American support for Taiwan. The announcement by authorities in the coastal province of Fujian on Thursday was accompanied by a statement that the navy was ending a three-day exercise in the South China one day early. (Li Gang/Xinhua via AP)

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier with navy frigates and submarines conducting an exercises in the South China Sea. China has announced live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensions over increased American support for Taiwan.  (File/Li Gang/Xinhua via AP)

China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLA) ordered a record-breaking 149 aircraft, including Chinese fighter jets and bombers, to penetrate Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) from October 1 to October 4. The aggressive drills broke records on October 1, 2, and 4 for the highest number of Chinese PLAAF aircraft to penetrate Taiwan’s ADIZ in a single day.

Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng told a session of Taiwan’s parliament on October 6 the current geopolitical tension between Beijing and Taipei is “the most serious” he has ever witnessed in the more than 40 years since he joined Taiwan’s Armed Forces. Chiu told Taiwan’s military expenditure committee he believed the heightened tensions had caused a legitimate risk of a “misfire” across the Taiwan Strait, which is the body of water separating China from Taiwan.

The defense minister further warned Taipei that China’s PLA was capable of staging a “full-scale” invasion of Taiwan within the next four years.

“By 2025, China will bring the cost and attrition to its lowest. It has the capacity now, but it will not start a war easily, having to take many other things into consideration,” the seasoned military leader predicted.

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