The shocking news on Tuesday that a group of 17 Chinese tourists have gone missing serves as a blow to those who are addicted to the opening of direct links between Taiwan and China.
The case is the first of its kind since Taiwan opened its doors to Chinese tourists about two years ago. According to one of the group's members, who was arrested by Taoyuan police yesterday, he came to Taiwan simply to find a job. As nobody picked them up when they arrived at the CKS International Airport on July 13, they left by taxi. Police are still looking for the 16 other people who went missing.
Signs show that this could have been a well-planned trip, and these tourists may have some accomplices in Taiwan, with whom they may be staying. According to one of the taxi drivers who transported the tourists, he was directed to "a certain location" by a woman with a "mainland" accent.
Perhaps the man is simply an economic refugee, and before we have any evidence, we will not make assumptions and accuse the missing tourists of having any political or intelligence missions. Still, the massive number of illegal immigrants from China in Taiwan and the sophisticated network they have built are shocking enough.
According to the Tourism Bureau's official statistics, a total of 37 Chinese tourists have gone missing after entering the nation legally this year. The Immigration Office of the National Police Agency pointed out on Tuesday that between November 1988 and June 30 this year, a total of 14,803 Chinese citizens went missing after they entered Taiwan legally. Of these, 4,806 have been found but are still in Taiwan, while another 3,638 are still unaccounted for.
These figures naturally do not include illegal immigrants who enter Taiwan by sea. As these people do not pass through any government channels, their number cannot be estimated. In addition, based on Ministry of the Interior statistics quoted by Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, of the Chinese women entering Taiwan to marry, five out of six are entering into marriages of convenience.
Such figures are shocking, for they expose a loophole in our public order and national security. At a time when China still looks on Taiwan with enmity, these people -- who have entered Taiwan legally but who now cannot be traced -- are ticking bombs embedded in our society, and are a threat to national security.
The pan-blues, now out of office, have repeatedly called for the opening of the three direct links as an important part of their bid to win votes. Some Taiwanese businesses have made use of their votes to pressure the Chen administration to establish the three links, the reason being that this will reduce transport costs between Taiwan and China. It is also an expression of their hope for a greater China economic sphere. But these purely economic motives, if looked at in the light of Taiwan's social order and national security concerns, can be seen as the short-sighted policies they are.
Don't forget, the three links work both ways. The moment we open the doors to China -- even if we ignore obvious concerns about political and military infiltration and the placement of spies -- the number of people who will "jump ship" and remain in Taiwan working illegally, is sufficient to cause insoluble social problems. If we just want to make money and do not bother to defend our social order or national security, then we might as well just let Chinese workers come and run the place.
At the end of last month, Paraguayan Ambassador to Taiwan Marcial Bobadilla Guillen told a group of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators that his president had decided to maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan, despite pressure from the Chinese government and local businesses who would like to see a switch to Beijing. This followed the Paraguayan Senate earlier this year voting against a proposal to establish ties with China in exchange for medical supplies. This constituted a double rebuke of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) diplomatic agenda in a six-month span from Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in South America. Last year, Tuvalu rejected an
South China Sea exercises in July by two United States Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carriers reminds that Taiwan’s history since mid-1950, and as a free nation, is intertwined with that of the aircraft carrier. Eventually Taiwan will host aircraft carriers, either those built under its democratic government or those imposed on its territory by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). By September 1944, a lack of sufficient carrier airpower and land-based airpower persuaded US Army and Navy leaders to forgo an invasion to wrest Taiwan from Japanese control, thereby sparing Taiwanese considerable wartime destruction. But two
As Taiwan is engulfed in worries about Chinese infiltration, news reports have revealed that power inverters made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co are used in the solar panels on the top of the Legislative Yuan’s Zhenjiang House (鎮江會館) on Zhenjiang Street in Taipei. However, what is even more worrying is that Taiwan’s new national electronic identification card (eID) has been subcontracted to the French security firm and eID maker Idemia, which has not only cooperated with the Chinese Public Security Bureau to manufacture eIDs in China, but also makes the new identification cards being issued in Hong Kong. There might be more
All lives eventually come to an end. Over the years, my friendship with former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had its ups and downs. Lee’s passing was a heavy blow and has left me deeply saddened. We experienced a lot together and the memories have come flooding back. Lee was born several months earlier than me. During World War II, he was studying at Kyoto Imperial University, but halfway through his studies, he was forced to change his name and enter military service. I was studying at Tokyo Imperial University, but went into hiding to avoid military service, and I was later