Taiwan ‘deeply unhappy’ after Interpol snubs request to attend general assembly meeting

The island’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the lack of access to organisation’s information poses challenge to cross-border crime-fighting operations

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 November, 2016, 12:03am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 November, 2016, 12:05am

Taiwan expressed its deep regret and discontent on Saturday after Interpol rejected its request to attend the police organisation’s general assembly meeting this week, Central News Agency reported.

The island’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said having no access to the information of Interpol – or International Criminal Police Organisation – was posing a challenge to Taiwan’s crime-fighting operations, especially since cross-border crime is becoming a serious problem amid the trend of globalisation.

However, Taipei would continue to work closely with the United States and other like-minded countries to promote Taiwan’s participation in Interpol in the hope it could be included in the global network for public security protection, CNA quoted the ministry as saying.

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Taiwan was forced to withdraw from Interpol in 1984 when mainland China joined the organisation.

For the first time in 32 years, Taipei applied to Interpol in October to participate as an observer at its 85th annual general assembly, which runs from Monday until Friday in Bali, Indonesia.

In response, both Interpol President Mireille Ballestrazzi and Secretary-General Jürgen Stock have written separately to Commissioner Liu Po-liang, of Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, stating its decision to turn down Taipei’s application, the ministry said.

The ministry stressed that Taiwan’s bid to participate in the Interpol general assembly did not involve politics, but was intended to facilitate cooperation with the police of other countries and contribute to global efforts against organised crime, cybercrime, cross-border crime and terrorism.

It urged Interpol to deal with Taiwan’s case positively and pragmatically based on the need to maintain global security.

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Considering the need for security maintenance during the 2017 Universiade in Taipei, the ministry has also requested Interpol allow Taiwan to access the I-24/7 global police communications system and the Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database.

The ministry, meanwhile, expressed its appreciation to the US for supporting Taiwan’s Interpol participation.

Both the US Senate and House of Representatives passed a bill in March requiring the US Secretary of State to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan in Interpol. The bill was then signed into law by US President Barack Obama.