Minister of National Defense Lee Tien-yu (李天羽) said yesterday that a retired general would still qualify for his pension so long as he does not abandon his citizenship.
"That is what the rules say. But I will still look into it and see if there is anything illegal in this case. If so, his pension will definitely be canceled," Lee said, while answering questions from pan-blue lawmakers on the National Defense Committee.
The lawmakers brought up the issue after the Chinese-language China Times reported yesterday that Lin Chin-ching (林勤經), a retired lieutenant general and the former head of the Evaluation and Planning Department of the Ministry of National Defense, has become a US citizen, but continues to receive his military pension.
The report also said that Lin is teaching at the University of California, San Diego. The article said that he filed for US citizenship because he wanted to stay with his daughter who lives in the US.
"He just retired less than six months ago and now he is a US citizen. That means that he already possessed a green card while he was still serving in the military," Chinese Nationalist Party Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said. "I think this is absurd, ridiculous."
People First Party Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (
"With his background, he needed to `do something good' for the US in return for US citizenship. Well, what did he do for the US government?" Chang said.
In response to pan-blue lawmakers' complaints, Lee said that he will conduct a full investigation into the issue and would immediately cancel Lin's pension if any illegal activity were involved.
But he stressed that regulations allow a retired general to receive a pension as long as he does not abandon his Republic of China citizenship.