Beijing (AFP) – China’s state media on Friday showed Taiwanese deported from Kenya to mainland China “confessing” to fraud while under police detention, the latest development in a case that has enraged Taipei.
Kenyan police deported 45 Taiwanese to China’s mainland this week. Taipei said that several of them had been acquitted of crimes in the African country, accusing Beijing of “abduction”.
China’s state broadcaster CCTV showed two Taiwanese suspects in a Beijing detention centre apparently admitting to crimes under police interrogation.
Such confessions have become common in Chinese state media in recent years. Lawyers say they deny defendants the right to a fair trial.
CCTV said the Taiwanese suspects had pretended to be officials to gain personal details from mainland citizens.
“I impersonated Beijing police,” CCTV showed one Taiwanese man surnamed Jian as saying.
A Taiwanese man whose surname was given as Xu was shown saying that “because I had committed fraud previously… I was responsible for impersonations”.
Earlier, state media showed the suspects on a flight to China, wearing hoods and flanked by Chinese police officers.
China considers Taiwan to be one of its provinces awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, though the island has ruled itself since a civil war split in 1949.
Relations have often been tense, and the landslide election victory of independence-leaning Tsai Ing-wen in January’s presidential poll raised fears that Beijing would seek to assert its stance more forcefully.
China’s public security ministry said this week that Beijing had “legal rights of jurisdiction” over the Taiwanese suspects.
Taipei earlier said that “officials from the Chinese mainland abducted” the first group of citizens, who were deported at the weekend.
Taiwan said it had filed suit against officials in Kenya for ignoring a court decision which cleared some of the suspects and “illegally cooperating with mainland personnel to deport them to China”.