Fake Republic of China (ROC) identification cards made in China pose the same level of threat to national security as African swine fever, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) said yesterday.
The national ID card has the best anti-counterfeit technology among all identification documents in the nation, a Ministry of the Interior official said yesterday on condition of anonymity, but added that the ministry has noticed recent cases of fake national IDs “that looked almost authentic.”
China’s ability to supply anti-counterfeit paper, color-changing ink and other materials — some of which can be purchased via the Internet — to produce ROC identification cards could have an impact on Taiwan’s security, the source said.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of the Interior
People could use fake national ID cards to apply for passports, impersonate others or take out loans, or Chinese intelligence officers or spies could use them to engage in clandestine work, the source said.
For example, each year, the military opens its camps to the public for visits as a way to promote civil defense and display its advanced weapons, the source said.
Taiwanese can tour the grounds by showing their national ID cards, but Chinese tourists are prevented from entering, the source added.
If counterfeit technology is capable of producing fake IDs that look authentic, then Chinese with ulterior motives could enter military camps using fake IDs and survey Taiwan’s military facilities and equipment, the source said.
Lai said that if fake ROC IDs are produced in China or used by Chinese intelligence officers to enter Taiwan, this would be as “scary” as the outbreak of African swine fever in China.
The potential impact would be enormous, he said, urging the government to introduce national ID cards with integrated chips soon to curtail the threat.
As China steps up its “united front” tactics against Taiwan, the number of unidentified individuals who are lurking in Taiwan is increasing, he said.
The national security and police agencies should investigate how to prevent or ban the sale of “toxic pork” and materials used in the production of fake IDs via the Internet, he said.
The Executive Yuan last month announced that it would replace national ID cards with electronic ID cards in the second half of next year.
The new ID cards would be harder to counterfeit than the current cards, which are made of paper, the ministry said.
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