Taiwan demands release of diplomat held in US

Liu Hsien-hsien was arrested by the FBI on Thursday on suspicion of fraud in hiring foreign labour.

Last Updated: Nov 11, 2011, 21:58 PM IST

Taipei: Taiwan on Friday demanded the United States release a diplomat detained in the country on charges of fraud, calling the arrest "improper" and a violation of diplomatic immunity.

Liu Hsien-hsien, who heads the island`s representative office in Kansas, was arrested by the FBI yesterday on suspicion of fraud in hiring foreign labour, Taiwan`s Foreign Ministry said.

"We sternly protest to the US against the improper arrest and detention... We demand her immediate and unconditional release," it said in a statement.

Taiwan and the United States have agreed to grant each other`s diplomatic representatives immunity despite their lack of formal ties, and Liu`s arrest violated that agreement, the ministry argued.

According to the ministry, the charge related to the August disappearance of Liu`s Philippine maid.

Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 but has remained a key ally and a leading arms supplier to the island.

PTI