A charter flight carrying 94 Taiwanese criminal suspects arrived in Beijing from Spain on Friday June 7th, making it the first large-scale extradition made from Europe to China.
The deportation from Spain comes as part of a joint operation against telecom fraud launched three years ago, the Chinese police ministry said in a statement, Reuters has reported.
The suspects were picked up in December 2016 in joint raids, dubbed “Operation Great Wall,” across Spain by Chinese and Spanish police, it said.
Spain’s initial approval of the extradition in early 2017 drew criticism from Taiwan, a self-governed democratic island in East Asia, that Beijing considers to be a breakaway province.
After two years of hearings, a Spanish court agreed to the extradition to China of all 237 suspects picked up in the raids. Spain has so far sent 225 suspects to China, including 218 from Taiwan, the ministry of public security said.
Taiwanese suspected of telecom fraud have been deported to China, sometimes forcibly, from countries including Kenya, Cambodia and Armenia, according to the Taiwanese government.