Taiwan says Kenyan police used guns and tear gas to force 37 of its citizens on to a plane bound for mainland China.
The foreign ministry said Kenyan police forced 22 Taiwan citizens, who were arrested on suspicion of fraud, to board a plane bound for China, despite protests from John Chen, Taiwan’s representative to South Africa.
The foreign ministry said 15 other Taiwanese, who had been acquitted in the case, were also coerced into boarding the plane.
The Chief of the West Asian and African Affairs section of Taiwan’s foreign ministry Antonio CS Chen said the police “threw tear gas” and brandished “assault rifles” to force them on to the plane.
A spokesman for Kenya’s interior ministry, Mwenda Njoka, in reaction said that the 37 people “came from China and we took them to China”, stressing that Kenya had “an obligation to ensure if people are here illegally they are taken back to where they came from”.
It follows the deportation to mainland China of eight other Taiwanese, prompting Taiwan to accuse Beijing of extrajudicial abduction.
However, China has praised Kenya for supporting its “one-China policy”.
One China Policy
When asked about the case, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang explained that “The one-China policy is an important pre-condition for bilateral relations with China and other countries.”
“We commend Kenya for its upholding of this policy.”
Tussle for unity
China views Taiwan self-ruling since 1950 as a renegade region that must be reunited with the mainland.
China insists that other countries cannot recognise both China and Taiwan, with the result that Taiwan has formal diplomatic ties with only a few countries.
Taiwan does not have formal diplomatic relations with Kenya.