Taiwan may co-operate on hijacks

Chris Yeung

THE leader of a Taiwanese delegation said yesterday Taipei might consider immediate repatriation of mainlanders who hijacked aircraft to the island.

Hsu Hui-you, head of a 10-member team from Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), said the possibility of immediate repatriation of hijackers had not been ruled out.

The handling of hijacking incidents is set to be discussed by the SEF and its mainland counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Straits during a round of talks beginning today in Beijing.

The talks, the first since the two sides met in Singapore in April for the so-called ''Koo-Wang summit'', is expected to last two to four days.

The meeting will coincide with the publication of the first comprehensive policy document by Beijing on Taiwan.

Quoting sources in Beijing, yesterday's Wen Wei Po said the 12,000-word document, divided into five parts, will ''systematically discuss the Taiwan problem''.


The newspaper said the document took two years to draft. Its contents have already been vetted by the Chinese Communist Party's politburo standing committee.

Its release is being made ahead of this year's meeting of the UN General Assembly ''to enable the world community to know the Chinese Government's position on the Taiwan issue'', the newspaper added.

It will be published in six languages.

Taiwan said it plans to launch a large-scale lobby to win support from UN members for its ''re-entry'' into the world body.


Speaking before leaving for Beijing via Hong Kong, Mr Hsu, who is a deputy secretary-general of the SEF, said that the talks would focus on problems resulting from increasing contacts.

Negotiators will consider policies for mainland stowaway repatriation, law enforcement, settlement of fishing disputes, legal assistance and protection of intellectual property rights, he said.


Mr Hsu said the theme of the talks would focus on the implementation of the major agreements reached at the end of the Singapore talks.

He said the two sides could discuss the handling of hijacking incidents when they dealt with how to step up co-operation in the fight against crime across the strait.

He did not rule out the possibility that hijackers would be sent back immediately from Taiwan.


Taipei allows only the hijacked aircraft to be returned to the mainland. The hijackers are dealt with under Taiwan law.

Mr Hsu hoped that the mainland would treat as a priority the 1,200 illegal immigrants from the mainland still stranded in Taiwan.

National People's Congress Standing Committee member Cai Zimin said the two sides should take responsibility to discuss effective ways to crack down on hijacks.