China Covid quarantine: A murder suspect fled from Taiwan. Then he got stuck in a hotel room

A murder suspect who escaped to China hours after the shooting of a man in Taiwan on Monday is now “trapped” in hotel quarantine upon arrival in the port city of Xiamen – preparing to be easily arrested by authorities.

Taiwanese law enforcement officers have asked for help from their Chinese counterparts to return the suspected gunman to the island, Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau told CNN Thursday.

Foreign visitors, from tourists to students, are largely prohibited from entering mainland China. Those allowed to enter, as well as returning Chinese nationals, must undergo at least 14 days of central quarantine – this also applies to fugitives.

The suspect, surnamed Huang, in his 30s, shot a 45-year-old man early Monday morning in New Taipei City, the Taiwan Central News Agency reported.

The victim was shot in the neck, and was pronounced dead at a local hospital later Monday, according to local police, who learned of the shooting around 8 a.m. local time.

Meanwhile, Huang allegedly fled the scene in a silver car, which he was then accused of abandoning in a shopping mall parking lot, the Central News Agency reported. He allegedly then tried to cover his tracks by changing his clothes twice and taking different means of transportation to reach Taoyuan International Airport, where he boarded a plane that left for mainland China at noon, the report said.

The Central News Agency reported that Huang is being quarantined in a hotel in Xiamen.

The Taiwan News Agency said that the Taiwan police are investigating the case. The report added that the Chinese Ministry of Public Security had received an extradition request from the Commercial International Bank.

In its response to CNN, CIB declined to comment on extradition progress, citing ongoing negotiations with Chinese authorities.

The suspect’s escape to China, which was first reported by Taiwanese media and then picked up by Chinese state media, has caused an uproar on Chinese social media. On the Chinese Twitter-like platform Weibo, two related hashtags have attracted nearly 300 million views.

“(He) can escape the arrest of the Taiwanese police, but he cannot escape the epidemic prevention and control measures in the mainland,” said one important comment on Weibo.

“After arriving on the mainland, he must have been taken into quarantine as soon as he got off the plane!” Another said.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Chu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, referred to reports of the shooting, without providing any details. “We are currently checking the details of the situation,” she said.

On Weibo, some users see the case as an opportunity to advance Beijing’s claim to sovereignty over self-governing Taiwan.

“I hope the trial will be held in the mainland and the central government will uphold justice for the Taiwan compatriots, so that we can truly benefit Taiwan and warm people’s hearts,” said one of the popular comments.

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Taiwan and China have extradited and convicted suspects across the Taiwan Strait in the past. But with relations between Taipei and Beijing at their lowest point in decades, it remains unclear how Beijing will respond to Taiwan’s request this time around.

Beijing views the democracy of 24 million people as part of its territory, even though the Chinese Communist Party has never ruled Taiwan. For decades after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, animosity prevailed between Beijing and Taipei, with trade, travel, and communications largely interrupted and military conflicts raging.

But tensions began to subside in the late 1980s, and in 1990 the two sides signed the Kinmen Agreement, which allowed each to extradite illegal immigrants, criminal suspects, and convicted criminals.

In 2009, Beijing and Taipei signed another agreement institutionalizing cross-strait crime control and mutual legal assistance, covering “drugs, smuggling, money laundering, fraud, corruption and other economic crimes.”

Since then, Taiwan has received 502 suspected criminals from China, according to data provided by Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice.

Previous high-profile extradition cases include former Taiwanese judge Li Dong-ying, who fled to south China’s Guangdong Province after being convicted of corruption in Taiwan, and Chen Yongzhi, a top wanted criminal who has been implicated in at least five shootings. Island.

On the other hand, China has taken in 21 people from Taiwan, according to the island’s Ministry of Justice.

But relations between Beijing and Taipei have grown tepid since Tsai Ing-wen of the traditionally pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party became president of Taiwan in 2016. However, the number of cross-strait deliveries has also declined.

In 2015, Beijing delivered 63 wanted fugitives to Taipei. That number dropped to 17 the following year, and has continued to decline ever since. Last year, only four suspects were returned from China to Taiwan.

And this year, as of September, no suspects have been extradited.

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