No consensus met on US extradition pact: minister


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Foreign Minister Timothy C.T. Yang confirmed yesterday that an extradition agreement between Taiwan and the United States is currently under discussion, but a concrete consensus has yet to be reached.

Fielding questions at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s committee on foreign and defense affairs, Yang said he would not disclose the progress of the talks before any consensus is reached.

Kuomintang Legislator Lin Yu-fang asked Yang to confirm remarks made recently by both Jason Yuan, Taiwan’s representative to the U.S., and William A. Stanton, director of the Taipei Office of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), that substantial progress is expected to be achieved soon with regard to the extradition pact.

Yang said such remarks merely reflected the two envoys’ “personal expectations.”

The AIT is the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan in the absence of official relations between the two countries.

It has been suggested that the lack of an extradition pact has led to the U.S. becoming one of the major hide-outs for Taiwan’s fugitives.

One such fugitive is Huang Fang-yen, former deputy superintendent of the Shin Kong Wu Ho-su Memorial Hospital, who has been accused of laundering money for former President Chen Shui-bian’s family.