ROC crim­i­nals can no longer hide in PRC: Ma

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two sides of the Tai­wan Strait on stem­ming crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties is mak­ing it harder for Tai­wanese crim­i­nals to hide from the law, Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou ( ) said Fri­day in praise of achieve­ments from the cross- strait joint crime- fight­ing agree­ment.

Since the agree­ment was signed in April 2009, it “has ob­vi­ously left many Tai­wanese crim­i­nals with no place to hide,” Ma said in a cel­e­bra­tion held by the Min­istry of Jus­tice for the sixth an­niver­sary of the sign­ing of the “Cross-strait Joint Crime-Fight­ing and Ju­di­cial Mu­tual As­sis­tance Agree­ment.”

“In the past, (the crim­i­nals) used to think they would be out of the law’s reach once flee­ing to the main­land. Now, the sit­u­a­tion is en­tirely dif­fer­ent,” Ma said.

Ac­cord­ing to Ma, the com­pe­tent au­thor­i­ties of the two sides have asked for ju­di­cial as­sis­tance from the other side on a com­bined 67,000 cases since the agree­ment took ef­fect, 55,000 of which were re­solved.

Such an ac­com­plish­ment is “rare” else­where in the world, the pres­i­dent said.

How­ever, a hand­ful of no­to­ri­ous eco­nomic crim­i­nals re­main on the loose on the main­land. “For those who have made in­vest­ments in the main­land and pay a large amount of taxes ev­ery year, main­land au­thor­i­ties are hes­i­tant (to repa­tri­ate them),” Ma said, “but we still hope the ef­forts will be con­tin­ued.”

By 2014, Tai­wan’s pop­u­la­tion had in­creased by 2 mil­lion from the level in 1995, and yet the crime rate dropped by 30 per­cent dur­ing that pe­riod. He wishes the ju­di­cial sys­tem of the coun­try keeps main­tain­ing this good record, and helps peo­ple to see that the ad­van­tages of cross-strait re­la­tions are not just in the eco­nomic realm but also in so­cial or­der, Ma said.

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