INTERPOL, the International Criminal Police Organization, plays a vital role in coordinating law enforcement efforts across countries. However, the exclusion of Taiwan, a nation that’s law-abiding with immense potential, from the organization significantly undermines its crucial work.
This exclusion is detrimental because China marginalized Taiwan’s role within the organization under the guise of “political issues”, and consistently ensuring Taiwan’s exclusion from meaningful participation in INTERPOL, thereby creating a significant impediment to crime prevention and intelligence sharing, and unjustly excluding my country from INTERPOL activities. The exclusion of Taiwan from INTERPOL is a significant setback for the organization’s mission to coordinate law enforcement efforts globally.
Taiwan’s outstanding capacity to carry out border security checks and combat transnational crimes such as terrorism and human trafficking is severely hampered by its lack of access to real-time criminal intelligence shared through INTERPOL’s I-24/7 system and its stolen and lost travel documents database. This means that vital exchanges of intelligence are often out of date and incorrect. Yet at the same time, as transnational crime flourishes in this era of globalization, Taiwanese passports, which enjoy visa-free access to 145 countries and territories, have become prime targets for transnational criminals. This is a global threat that should not be underestimated.
According to the 2023 safety and crime rankings by the database website Numbeo, Taiwan ranked third for safety out of 142 countries evaluated. It also had the third-lowest crime rate among all countries, surpassing other Asian nations. Taiwan has made significant contributions to international crime prevention. It possesses advanced technology and expertise, benefits from its strategic geographical location, ensures global security, and fosters strong international collaborations. As the world’s 21st-largest economy and 17th-largest exporter, Taiwan serves as a crucial link between Northeast and Southeast Asia, functioning as a hub for the flow of people, goods, and capital.
Taiwan’s advanced technology and expertise can also make a significant contribution to INTERPOL’s capabilities in combating modern-day crime. Taiwan is renowned for its expertise in preventing cybercrime, addressing technology-related offenses, and investigating financial crimes. By sharing its knowledge and providing technological support, Taiwan could greatly enhance INTERPOL’s ability to respond to emerging criminal trends and effectively tackle the challenges posed by technology-driven crimes. Moreover, Taiwan’s strategic geographical location grants it a unique advantage in supporting INTERPOL’s activities in East Asia. Taiwan plays a crucial role in identifying and disrupting criminal operations, thereby ensuring regional and global security.
Taiwan’s involvement in INTERPOL’s General Assembly would enable its police authorities to interact with counterparts from other nations, fostering collaboration and enhancing global collective ability to combat transnational crime. By supporting Taiwan’s participation in INTERPOL’s General Assembly, the world takes a significant stride towards achieving this goal. Therefore, Taiwan’s participation in INTERPOL is not merely a matter of national interest but a crucial step towards strengthening global security. By rectifying the historical injustices that have hindered Taiwan’s involvement, the world can harness its expertise and resources.
Yih-Ping Liu is the representative of Taiwan Mission in Nigeria