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September 20, 2017

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Taiwan recalls envoy to Philippines

The statement went on to say both the Philippines and Taiwan have developed strong ties over the years, and expressed the hope the incident will not in any way jeopardize those ties.

Law-abiding Taiwanese can still visit the Philippines and will be protected, the statement said.

To emphasize the importance MECO has attached to the statement, it asked Lee Chuan-tung, Taiwan's representative to the Philippines, to review the statement first. The document was delivered to Lee by Amadeo Perez Jr., the MECO chairman, himself. Both current and former Philippine representatives to Taiwan were present at the event.

MECO said the Philippines and Taiwan have already begun work on developing a system to ensure that incidents like this do not happen again. It also thanked Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and Taipei's representative office in Manila for jointly monitoring the case with the Philippine government.

Taiwan Must Make Stance Clear

Luo Chih-chiang, presidential spokesperson, said President Ma Ying-jeou did not raise this topic during his New Year meeting with Cabinet officials yesterday. Yet Luo said Ma, on the day of the deportation, had asked the Cabinet to handle the situation with caution and to make Taiwan's stance clear.

MOFA officials, meanwhile, said the National Security Council had met with relevant government officials on how to deal with the issue. During the New Year break, officials with MOFA, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and police-related agencies also met to discuss how to make a response.

MAC Urges Suspects' Return

Liu Teh-shun, vice chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), meanwhile, said it has already stated the government's stance clearly to China: that the Taiwanese suspects be returned immediately and that arrangements be made for visits by their family members.

Liu said that all Taiwan suspects are now in Beijing and are awaiting investigation by authorities there.

Law enforcement officials in China need to find out how the division of labor was carried out between Taiwanese and Chinese suspects, and may need to cross-examine them, Liu said.

As for whether the Taiwanese suspects will be sent back after the investigative procedures, Liu said this is still subject to further dialogues and communications with China.

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