It is inappropriate for the brother of the head of the National Security Bureau (NSB) to do business in China, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator said yesterday.
DPP caucus whip Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) made the remarks after reports that Hsueh Chuan-min (薛專民), younger brother of bureau Director-General Hsueh Shih-min (薛石民), was recently invited to serve as the president of a company in Shanghai, and that the younger Hsueh often travels back and forth between Taiwan and China.
Although it is not against the law, Yeh said this did not mean the younger Hsueh's behavior was appropriate, adding that the latter should avoid doing business in China lest it give a "bad impression to others."
She also said that the legislature should revise the law to ban such activities.
DPP caucus whip Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) said the bureau is in charge of national security and that its chief should avoid engaging in any behavior that could be seen as a conflict of interest. The bureau chief should also be subject to a higher set of standards, Chen added.
He said the DPP caucus supports revising the law to establish a "revolving door statute" to keep current or former government employees in the financial, economic and national security departments from using their government connections to benefit themselves.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) urged Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) to quickly deal with the matter.
KMT caucus whip Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) said Su should look into the matter to determine whether such actions could affect national security and make his findings public.
In response, the bureau issued a press release yesterday saying the younger Hsueh was sent by the company to work in China, which it called an "independent personal action" which the bureau chief therefore has no right to interfere with.
The press release also said that Hsueh "is aware of all sorts of Chinese tricks" and the fact that his brother is working in China will not affect the bureau chief's "execution of his duties or his allegiance to the nation."
The military currently has a security mechanism in place in which those serving in sensitive security positions or major posts are required to undergo a three-month security check before being granted security clearance by the Ministry of National Defense.
The NSB has an even stricter mechanism in place in which family members of such officials must report to authorities for possible security checks prior to travel to China.