Ministry counters report on PRC military spouses

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Sat, May 04, 2013 - Page 1

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday said that 70 people in the military are married to Chinese nationals, but added that not all of them are in sensitive positions, as local Chinese-language media have reported.

The ministry made the remarks in response to a media report that cited statistics provided to lawmakers from the ministry as showing that there are at least 70 military staffers working in sensitive units who have Chinese spouses, the highest-ranking being a colonel in the Armaments Bureau.

Twelve of them are in the army, 14 in the navy, 12 in the air force, two in the reserve command, three in military police units, 20 in the Armaments Bureau and seven in subordinate units of the ministry, the report said, adding that the spouses have all obtained Republic of China citizenship.

The report mentioned a case last year in which an air force pilot surnamed Hsiao (蕭) was given a demerit and was suspended from his position for dating a Chinese reporter stationed in Taiwan without reporting the relationship to his unit.

The ministry yesterday said in a press statement that of the 70 military personnel who have Chinese spouses, only one or two work in sensitive units.

The ministry said that since it abandoned a military personnel marriage regulation in 2005, military personnel no longer have to report their relationships to their units or seek approval for marriages.

In military personnel records, military staff register their spouse’s name, birth and job title, but not nationality.

However, the ministry added that if military personnel work in sensitive units or if their work concerns confidential information, the military would check on their marital status and prevent those with Chinese spouses from obtaining confidential information.

It added that in line with regulations, military personnel who have contact with Chinese nationals should report any relationship on their own initiative, because they could be punished if the relationship is discovered.