Thu, Oct 04, 2018 - Page 8 News List

Registration permits a new way of infiltration

By Huang Tien-lin 黃天麟

China’s residency permits for Taiwanese, which use an 18-digit serial number, just like Chinese identity cards, is just the latest in a long line of thuggish behavior by despotic China that is designed to humiliate Taiwan.

The residency card is an extension of the 31 incentives aimed at poaching Taiwanese workers, the demand that international airlines refer to Taiwan as “China, Taiwan,” and Beijing’s leaning on the East Asian Olympic Committee to revoke Taichung’s right to host the East Asian Youth Games.

Beijing believes that mobilizing its fifth column in Taiwan would force the government to yield to its latest ruse with the residency permits and bring Taiwan into its “one country, two systems” framework, thereby achieving de facto rule over Taiwan.

As expected, when the Cabinet called for stricter controls on cardholders and Taiwan-centric opposition parties called for cardholders to be stripped of their civic rights, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) called for proper consultations with China-based Taiwanese businesses, revealing the pusillanimity of decisionmakers.

The government must implement a system for registering Taiwanese holding Chinese residence permits, as I have proposed in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper).

The government must correct distorted notions concerning social values and national governance long advocated by pan-blue media outlets.

First, the view that Taiwanese businesses should be consulted. The notion that Taiwanese businesses are one of nation’s masters and that they should be fully consulted is a shibboleth of Taiwanese politics, behind which lies the source of the nation’s current political and economic turmoil. The government should consult the Taiwanese public, not China-based Taiwanese businesses.

Second, the view that Taiwanese businesses should be forced to choose sides. That is what both the public and businesses should do.

Businesses operating in China must decide whether their allegiance is to Taiwan or China, and display some patriotic spirit.

Does the MAC have such little confidence in Taiwan’s democracy? Does it fear that businesses would side with China? No doubt some would, but the government should have faith that most Taiwanese, in fact, identify with Taiwan.

Third, the view that implementing a registration system would incur financial costs. People pay taxes so the government can run the country and manage the household registration system, national identity cards and immigration. Registering as Chinese residency permit holders would be a small additional duty that Taiwanese holding Chinese residency permits should do. Surely, China-based Taiwanese businesses who flatly reject this minor duty are not “Taiwanese” companies.

Fourth, the view that Taiwanese holders of Chinese residency permits need not register because holders of US green cards do not need to. This is disingenuous: The US is Taiwan’s ally, while China is an enemy — the only country that threatens military invasion of Taiwan. The nation must not conflate friend with foe.

As China dispatches its aircraft carrier group through the Taiwan Strait and military aircraft to encircle Taiwan, it should be clear to all Taiwanese that its residency permit is part of its united front strategy which aims to gain de facto control over Taiwan.

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