The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday said that late last month it had received a request from the Legislative Yuan to investigate any possible cases of legislators holding foreign citizenship.
“We received the request late July and have asked related units to help with the process,” said MOFA Spokesman Henry Chen (陳銘政), adding it was difficult to give an approximate date when a result would be announced because the probe required the assistance of other countries.
It appeared that not much progress had been made in the case of probing lawmakers’ possible foreign citizenships.
The case stems from a March 12 report by Next Magazine, a weekly tabloid, which said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Lawmaker Diane Lee (李慶安) possesses dual citizenship.
Lee denied the allegations, arguing that her US citizenship was automatically stripped when she was elected as a Taipei City counselor in 1991.
However, US immigration law does not stipulate an automatic revocation of US citizenship when one of its citizens serves in senior level positions of another government.
All cases must be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis by an immigration judge, the US immigration Web site says.
In Taiwan, Article 20 of the Nationality Law (國籍法), which took effect on June 20, 2001, states that foreign citizens are prohibited from holding government office.
In June, all lawmakers were asked to give their personal information and consent to allow MOFA to verify whether they possessed foreign citizenship.
If the allegation is true, Lee would have to return her salary as a Taipei City councilor from 1994 to 1998 and as a legislator since 1998 — estimated at around NT$100 million (US$3.2 million). She would also lose her job as a legislator, forcing a by-election in Taipei City’s sixth district.
When asked by the Taipei Times for an update, the human resources section of the Legislative Yuan refused to divulge any details of the ongoing investigation, saying it has not been authorized to speak on the issue.
Meanwhile, Central Election Commission members yesterday failed to reach any consensus on the issue of Lee’s nationality and decided to postpone the discussion until the next commission meeting.
Additional reporting by Loa Iok-sin and staff writer
Days after it was banned in China, a Mandarin ballad satirizing nationalistic Chinese Internet users is trending at No. 1 on YouTube in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Fragile (玻璃心), by Taiwan-based Malaysian rapper Namewee (黃明志) and Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語), offers a tongue-in-cheek apology to “little pink” Internet users, a disparaging term that describes patriotic “keyboard warriors” from China. After racking up more than 9 million views on YouTube, the song reached No. 3 on the site in Malaysia on Thursday, according to Kworb, a Web site that analyzes music data from around the world. It is also the only Chinese-language
NO CHANGE: US officials indicated that the ‘one China’ policy remains in place, while the NATO chief avoided discussing Biden’s comment in an effort to ease tensions US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday that the Pentagon would continue to support Taiwan’s military, but he declined to say if US troops would defend the island against China, after US President Joe Biden said there was a US “commitment” to do so. “As we’ve done over multiple administrations, we will continue to help Taiwan with the sorts of capabilities that it needs to defend itself,” Austin said at NATO headquarters. “So we’ll stay focused on those things, and I won’t engage in any hypotheticals with respect to Taiwan,” he told reporters. Biden on Thursday sparked a new firestorm
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,
‘DISCIPLINE’: The Taiwanese runner finished six days after the winner, but claimed the 25th-best time in the 25-year history of the race at a New York high school Taiwanese ultramarathon runner Lo Wei-ming (羅維銘) on Saturday finished second among seven runners in a 4,989km road race in New York City, becoming the first Asian to have completed the challenge. Holding the national flag and wearing sandals, Lo was cheered by the crowd as he passed the finish line of the 25th Annual Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, clocking 48 days, 11 hours, 52 minutes and 1 second. “Wei-ming has been a real ambassador for the sport of super-long distance running, as well as for his Taiwan heritage and community,” the organizers said in their 48th daily online update for