Fri, Apr 03, 2009 - Page 3 News List

No law banning officials' spouses from visiting China: MAC

By Ko Shu-ling and Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Chairman Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) yesterday said that there is no law governing trips to China by the spouses of government officials nor any procedure in place for them to report to the authorities.

All civil servants must exercise self-discipline and make their own judgment, he added

Liu made the remarks in response to reporters' questions about Chen Yue-ching (陳月卿), the wife of National Security Council Secretary-General Su Chi (蘇起), who is currently in China.

Chen told SETTV and TVBS reporters in Beijing on Wednesday that she was in the Chinese capital to promote her book and that there were no regulations preventing her from traveling.

At a separate setting yesterday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), head of the legislature's Internal Administration Committee, said: “If the DPP [Democratic Progressive Party] thinks the current regulation is insufficient, the DPP can propose amendments to the Act Governing Relations Between People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例) and other regulations related to government officials' [and their family members'] visits to China.”

KMT caucus deputy secretary-general Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) also dismissed questions about the implications of Chen's visit to China, saying the public should respect Chen's plan as she is not an “accessory” of her husband.

However, DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said Chen's book promotion tour was a breach of national security.

“As a family member of an NSC official, you should be even more careful with your safety,” he said, saying that the trip would give the Chinese intelligence an opportunity to harm Taiwan's security.

“China's unification warfare is omnipresent. As the wife of the NSC director, she should be extra careful with her speech and conduct. Her trip to China has taken advantage of a loophole in Taiwan's national security and Su must shoulder full responsibility for it,” Tsai said.

The government should consider adding a legal premise to restrict the spouses of high-ranking officials from traveling to China, he added.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JENNY W. HSU

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