A Taiwanese murder suspect who fled to mainland China last month was brought back to the island on Wednesday in a rare act of cooperation at a time of rising cross-strait tensions. The suspect is accused of shooting and killing a man before fleeing to the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen last month. Local police say he has admitted to the crime. He landed at Taipei’s Songshan airport on Wednesday, a day after the Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing announced the repatriation. Beijing claims self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory, to be retaken one day, by force if necessary, though the two sides have been ruled separately since 1949. Their rivalry has complicated law enforcement efforts, and for years some of Taiwan’s most wanted criminals have fled to mainland China to dodge prosecution at home. The repatriation will boost efforts to fight violent crime and “maintain order” in relations between the two sides, the Taiwan Affairs Office said on Tuesday. Taiwanese media reported that the suspect, identified by his family name Huang, had been trapped in hotel quarantine since fleeing to the Chinese mainland, where all inbound travellers are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Upon arriving in Taipei, Huang suffered a seizure while undergoing Covid-19 checks at the airport and was taken to hospital, local police said. Under a crime-fighting deal signed by Taiwan’s former Beijing-friendly government in 2009, police from both sides can return suspects home. But Beijing has cut off official communication and ramped up pressure on Taiwan since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, who rejects Beijing’s stance that the island is part of Chinese territory. Tsai was reelected for a second four-year term in January 2020. Mainland Chinese authorities repatriated four suspects to Taiwan last year, according to the island’s government. No data has been released on how many mainland Chinese citizens had been sent back from Taiwan. The latest repatriation stands in stark contrast to an impasse provoked by the high-profile murder of a Hong Kong woman by her boyfriend during a holiday to Taiwan in 2018. Chan Tong-kai has admitted killing his girlfriend in a Taipei hotel room but has remained free in Hong Kong as the two sides argue over the handling of his case. Hong Kong blames “political manipulations” by Taiwan for the lack of progress.