The Ministry of the Interior recently received official notice from the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) asking the ministry to fine 24 Taiwanese who have violated the law by being appointed members of the Chinese People’s Consultative Conference.
However, Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) said that as the ministry had no personnel in China, it would have to notify the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) to ask for its assistance in clarifying the situation of the Taiwanese in question.
“However, we have to wonder if the Chinese government would do anything for us,” Lee said.
Lee used the incident as an example when he gave a lecture at a training symposium for the Examination Yuan’s National Academy of Civil Service.
“This incident brings to light the problem with the Act Governing the Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the People of the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例). As it has been in place for so long, should we begin to mull amendments to the parts that are no longer applicable to modern times?” Lee said during the symposium.
The council gave a comprehensive list of people asking for them to be fined for violating the act, but from the perspective of the ministry, it is important to ask what it means for one of our citizens to become a consultant member in China, Lee said.
“What does the job entail, is it classified as a civil service job in China?” Lee added.
The department is not familiar with cross-strait affairs and does not have personnel in China to round up Taiwanese who have violated the law, Lee said, adding that even if they sent personnel to contact the Taiwanese, it may not be possible to find them.
“Even if we did find them they might not cooperate with Taiwanese officials, so there is no way to implement such fines,” he added.
“We have to work with the foundation in the end and ask them to investigate what jobs these Taiwanese have, what the jobs entail, where they live and their method of contact,” Lee added.
Lee elaborated on the subject in a press conference yesterday.
“The ministry isn’t the unit overseeing cross-strait matters, I think this incident has no impact on cross-strait policies,” Lee said.
However, while he did not object to any cross-strait policies, on the basis of implementing the letter of the law, the government should take note of the issue, as standing policies could not be implemented, Lee said.
Amendments to acts that cannot be implemented should be considered for amendment by the government, Lee added.