Beijing University's China Center for Economic Research (
"According to the Statute Governing the Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例), once a Taiwanese resident registers in China, his Taiwanese registration is canceled and this resident will have to apply for a visa just like other Chinese people if he wants to come back to Taiwan in the future," Yang said.
"Lin will not be regarded as a Taiwanese resident. That's for sure," he added.
However when the Taipei Times tried to confirm whether Lin's Taiwanese registration had been canceled, officials at the MAC, Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of National Defense (MND) -- all of which are handling Lin's case -- were evasive and could not confirm whether this had been done.
Lin was a Taiwanese marine officer when he was serving his military service more than 20 years ago. However, in 1979, he took off from his Kinmen base and swam to the Chinese coast with classified military information stolen from his office. After he surrendered to the Chinese army, the Chinese government gave him a chance to pursue a doctorate in the US and paid his tuition. He has since become an economist.
According to the MND, Lin was listed as missing immediately after he his departure and considered dead within the year. However, he was never put on Taiwan's most wanted list as a fugitive or a traitor.
Had Lin been regarded as a traitor when he left, the law at the time would have made him eligible for the death penalty.
MND spokesman Major-General Huang Sui-sheng (
"According to the Military Law, we considered him dead after he went missing for more than a year," Huang said.
"He is not on our most wanted list," he confirmed.
Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (
"Lin's surrender to the Chinese army violated both the Criminal Code (
The minister added that pros-ecutors will act in accordance with the law.
In a related story, Wu Miao-ho (
However, unlike Lin, Wu was listed as a military traitor by the MND and was put on the most wanted list.
The statute of limitations of the Military Law specifies 25 years and Wu was immediately arrested by the military police and sentenced to five years in jail when he returned to Taiwan in 1998.
He was released on parole and now lives in Miaoli.
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