Sat, Aug 10, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Ex-officials to be barred from China events from Sept. 1

By Chung Li-hua  /  Staff reporter

Police officers stand guard at the main entrance to the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on Jan. 28.

Photo: Lin Liang-sheng, Taipei Times

Starting on Sept. 1, people who have held office as a deputy minister or higher and military officials who have held the equivalent rank of major general or higher are to be banned from attending political events in China or risk losing their pensions and benefits, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday.

The Legislative Yuan on July 3 passed an amendment to the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) stipulating the new rule, while the ministry yesterday announced the date of promulgation.

The amendment increases the punishment for high-ranking officials found guilty of “undermining national dignity” or visiting China without prior approval.

China on Oct. 1 is to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) with a military parade in Tiananmen Square, the ministry said, adding that Beijing would use the opportunity to wage a “united front” propaganda war.

The amendment must take effect prior to the anniversary so it would have the intended deterrent effect, ministry officials said.

The amendment targets high-ranking officials in government agencies in charge of national defense, foreign affairs, national security and relations with China, as well as the heads of intelligence agencies.

“They are prohibited from taking part in functions or celebrations held by Chinese Communist Party departments, as well as ministries in charge of China’s military and administrative governance and their affiliated organizations,” officials said.

The amendment also bans actions that “undermine national dignity,” including saluting the flag or symbols of the PRC, or singing the Chinese national anthem or songs representing the PRC.

If convicted, officials could be stripped of their pension and benefits, while those who chose a one-time pension payment upon retirement could be fined up to NT$10 million (US$318,847).

No Taiwanese generals attended the “13th Whampoa Forum” in China’s Jiangxi Province in June, the ministry added.

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