By Kuoyu Tung, Representative, Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium.
Globalization has abetted a rise in cross-border crime. To fight against this, 190 members of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) will meet in Bali Indonesia, from November 7 to 10, to discuss terrorism and other transnational crimes, at the 85th Interpol General Assembly. However, the Republic of China (Taiwan) has long been excluded from the Interpol General Assembly for political reasons.
Taiwan is a major transportation hub in the Asia-Pacific region, with its strategic location connecting Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, Taiwan has not been able to participate in Interpol-related meetings, protocols, or technical activities since 1984. Therefore, Taiwan has often had to obtain international security intelligence indirectly, through bilateral channels with Interpol members, to combat cross-border crime. This, in turn, has not enabled Taiwan to meet the increasing demand for global crime-fighting efforts, which rely on efficiency and quick access to comprehensive intelligence.
Despite this lack of access to Interpol’s information and intelligence, Taiwan remains devoted to international security. For example, in July this year Taiwanese police solved the case of a US$2.2-million ATM heist that was perpetrated in the country by 22 foreign nationals. Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau was subsequently invited to share their experiences at a special meeting convened by the European Police Office.
Nevertheless, Taiwan particularly needs assistance from Interpol to effectively address cyber and cross-border crime. The Taiwanese police however, have received very little support from it, as reflected in the fact that a response was received to only 27 enquiries out of the 90 that were made in the first 9 months of 2016.
Taiwan urges the international community to facilitate its participation in Interpol’s 85th General Assembly, as an observer and under the title of ‘Chinese Taipei’. It is imperative that it takes part in this global information and intelligence-sharing network, so we can collectively combat terrorism and cross-border crime.