TAIPEI : Malaysia deported 32 Taiwanese fraud suspects to China Saturday, Taiwan authorities said, leaving the island's government furious once more in the latest bout of cross-strait diplomatic sparring. It comes after Taipei accused Beijing of "abducting" its citizens from Kenya earlier this month.

The deportations are seen by observers as a shot across the bows of Beijing-sceptic Tsai Ing-wen, who will be inaugurated as Taiwan's president on May 20. "The government has filed solemn protests and regrets the development," presidential office spokesman Charles Chen said of the deportations Saturday.  Taiwan would send a delegation to the mainland "as soon as possible" Chen said.  The 32 suspects arrived in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on Saturday night, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported.  They were part of a group of 52 Taiwanese detained by Malaysian police last month during five raids linked to telecom fraud, which also led to the arrests of 65 mainland Chinese and two Malaysians.

Twenty of the Taiwanese were deported back to Taiwan two weeks ago, where they were initially allowed to go free.

After complaints in Chinese state media, which labelled Taiwan a "haven of frauds", 18 of them were later arrested. They are currently in custody in Taiwan. Questions had swirled over the fate of the other 32 suspects, with Taiwan saying it was negotiating with Malaysia for their return.

Taiwan's justice ministry said Saturday that it had raised concerns with China Friday after hearing the deportations were to go ahead. But the Chinese side informed Taiwan Saturday that the suspects were being deported to the mainland, the justice ministry said.