Legislators across party lines yesterday expressed concern over national security after it was revealed that the daughter of a high-ranking official at the Military Intelligence Bureau is a college student in China.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方), a member of the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee, said although it was not illegal for the official’s daughter to study in China, it should have been avoided given the sensitivity of her father’s job.
Lin suggested that lawmakers amend the law if there is a consensus that the children of high-ranking security officials should be banned from studying in China.
KMT Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) alleged that the intelligence official sent his daughter to China because National Security Council Secretary-General Su Chi (蘇起) and Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Ping-kun (江丙坤) were not sanctioned after members of their families were found to have business interests in China.
“If a leader sets a bad example his subordinates are likely to follow,” Lo said, referring to Su’s younger brother, National Chengchi University law professor Su Yeong-chin (蘇永欽), who serves as a visiting professor at Zhejiang University in China, and Su Chi’s wife, Chen Yue-ching (陳月卿), who went to Beijing in April to promote a book.
The legislators were responding to a story in the Chinese-language Next Magazine, which said the daughter of Lee Wen-fang (李文芳), a section director of the Military Intelligence Bureau, is studying in China.
KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) said Chinese intelligence officials would seize this “perfect opportunity” to breach Taiwan’s security.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said government officials had imitated the behavior of members of Su Chi’s family.
KMT caucus secretary-general Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔), on the other hand, urged politicians to respect the right of people to choose where to study.
Yang said about 1,500 Taiwanese study in China each year, and added that education and politics should be separate.
The Ministry of National Defense yesterday said that Lee’s daughter’s situation had nothing to do with Lee’s job.
“Lee has passed regular background and security checks during his service with the Military Intelligence Bureau. He reported that his daughter is studying in China. There is no problem with that,” a press release from the ministry said.
In related news, the Control Yuan’s latest asset declarations of government officials released yesterday showed that Examination Yuan President John Kuan (關中) owns a house in Shanghai.
Kuan and his wife bought the house in May 2005 for NT$17.5 million (US$526,000). Kuan’s wife owns the property.
One of Kuan’s staff said that the house is used by the couple’s daughter Kuan Yun-ti (關雲娣) who has a film company in Shanghai.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RICH CHANG AND JIMMY CHUANG