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China lauds ‘cooperation’ over deportations

Chinese nationals sit on the tarmac at the Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday before being deported for their involvement in a VOIP scam. Photo supplied
Chinese nationals sit on the tarmac at the Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday before being deported for their involvement in a VOIP scam. Photo supplied

China lauds ‘cooperation’ over deportations

A Chinese Foreign Mi­n­istry official on Wednesday applauded Cambodia’s adherence to the “one-China” policy after it deported 63 people, including 13 Taiwanese nationals, to the mainland for their alleged involvement in an internet scam.

Speaking at a daily briefing, Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang was asked to react to a Tuesday statement released by Taiwan condemning the “forceful remand” of its citizens, but instead chose to laud Cambodia’s loyalty to Beijing.

“Regarding the specific case, the Chinese side highly applauds and appreciates Cambodia for sticking to the one-China policy and cooperating with China to crack down on cross-border crimes, including telecom fraud,” Kang said.

He added that the authorities would now “deal” with the scammers, and that this should be understood by “Chinese people across the Strait and the international community”.

The government has repeatedly signalled its support of the one-China policy, which holds that Taiwan is simply part of the People’s Republic of China.

The Tuesday statement, released by Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, called for the 13 Taiwanese nationals to be returned across the strait so they could be investigated under Taiwanese law.

“The Chinese authorities should not and must not forcefully remand [the Taiwanese nationals] to mainland China,” it said. “We would like to once again express our sincerest regret and strongest objection to the move.”

A spokesperson for the council did not respond to a request for comment, but Chinese Embassy counsellor Yang Qinglian denied any involvement in the deportation, as did the Cambodian Foreign Ministry.

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