How Chinese Law Is Reaching All the Way to Kenya

FILE - In this file photo taken April 13, 2016, and released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese and Taiwanese suspects involved i
FILE - In this file photo taken April 13, 2016, and released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese and Taiwanese suspects involved in wire fraud are escorted off a plane upon arriving at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China. A 10-member delegation from Taiwan of judicial and police officials arrived in Beijing on Wednesday seeking to ensure fair treatment for their nationals who were deported from Kenya to face wire fraud charges in China, a case that has prompted concerns that Beijing is bringing additional diplomatic pressure on the island it considers its own territory. (Yin Gang/Xinhua News Agency via AP, File) NO SALES

The Kenyan government's consent to a Chinese request for the deportation of dozens for alleged cyber and telecom fraud has now bloomed into a full-scale diplomatic crisis. Among those forcibly sent to China included dozens of Taiwan nationals, many of whom were cleared by Kenya's courts. The Taiwan government, for its part, blasted Beijing for orchestrating an "uncivilised act of abduction" that is illegal under international law.

Not surprisingly, the Chinese government rejects Taiwan's accusations, sparking a serious challenge for the island's newly elected president Tsai Ing-wen who assumes office in May. Tensions between the two governments have been on the rise since Tsai's landslide election win that brought the pro-independence opposition Democratic Progressive Party back into power for the first time in almost a decade.

Although this is the first known time that an African country has collaborated with China to forcibly deport a large group of alleged criminal suspects for telecom fraud, the practice is widespread among various governments and has a long history on the continent. In the podcast above, we explore the context of the Sino-Kenyan action and discuss how it is part of a broader global trend of the Chinese reaching far overseas to enforce its laws at home.

Join the discussion over whether you are concerned by the extending arm of China's law enforcement. Are you worried? Do you wish your country would do the same?

Watch Eric Olander discuss U.S. and Chinese competition for influence in Africa on HuffPost Live: