A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator yesterday warned of a growing threat of Chinese infiltration, citing a 60-fold jump in the number of Chinese visitors entering Taiwan using altered or falsified documents.
DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said that based on the National Immigration Agency’s records, the number of Chinese entering Taiwan using altered and falsified documents rose from nine in 2012 to 76 last year and further to 535 in the first half of this year.
Chen said the increase in Chinese criminal activity could be an attempt to swing November’s seven-in-one elections in favor of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
Identification documents modified or changed included proof of work and bank savings attestations, the agency’s records show.
Chen said that Taiwan has strict limits on the number of Chinese citizens from select cities that can apply for entry as free independent travelers (FIT) in Taiwan; the rest have to show documents to prove that they are either businesspeople, professionals or people seeking aesthetic medical services.
However, with the elections scheduled this year, there has been an explosion in the number of falsified documents, Chen said, adding that this suggested that the Beijing government was systematically trying to get as many people as possible into Taiwan through the loopholes.
Chen added that the agency records showed that there were 2,362 Chinese citizens who had overstayed their visas, but only 49 were arrested. Moreover, a notice on the agency’s Web site showed that it could not find 306 Chinese citizens who had disappeared.
The discrepancy in numbers and the low number of arrests suggest dereliction of duty on the part of the agency, Chen said.
Several agency officials have been arrested recently for allegedly helping foreign women arriving in Taiwan under arranged marriages to find employment at a massage shop in New Taipei City, he added.
Chen called on national security agencies to investigate the matter.
He added that National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) should focus on this issue, instead of using intelligence agencies to spy on rival political parties, or over-reaching his authority with his visits to agencies such as the Investigation Bureau, the National Police Agency, the National Immigration Agency, the Coast Guard Administration and the military police.
In response, the NIA said it had convened agency officials earlier this year to investigate the surge in the number of cases involving falsified and altered identification documents, and found the source to be “certain groups” operating on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
The groups have found this to be a lucrative business and have set up networks on both sides of the Strait to facilitate the dispersal of falsified documents among Chinese who visit Taiwan as businesspeople, professionals or people seeking aesthetic medical services, the agency said.
These visitors had come here posing as tourists while engaging in activities that were not within the purview of their visas, the agency said.