Military personnel are banned under the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces (陸海空軍刑法) from joining the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and risk being punished for treason if they do so, Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱) said yesterday.
Kao made the remarks in response to questions from lawmakers during a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee about three retired navy officials recently indicted for spying for China.
Retired navy lieutenant Chien Ching-kuo (錢經國), former chief of the Meteorological and Oceanographic Office’s political warfare division commander Chang Chih-hsin (張祉鑫) and former Navy Fleet Command Headquarters staff lieutenant Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) were charged by the ministry with spying for China and accepting bribes.
Chien allegedly joined the CCP and recruited other people for the party.
At the meeting, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) asked Kao to address what he said was a loophole in the nation’s legal system, which does not prohibit military personnel from becoming a communist party member.
Tsai asked Kao if the CCP was defined as an “enemy” that military personnel are banned from collaborating with under the criminal code. Kao did not immediately reply.
Later, when asked again by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chan Kai-chen (詹凱臣), Kao said the CCP was the nation’s “enemy” as defined by the criminal code “because it hasn’t renounced the use of force against Taiwan.”
Under the code, military personnel are held to standards of allegiance to the country, meaning they cannot join the CCP, Kao said.
An official at the ministry, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the prohibition covers all communist parties, not just the CCP, because “they share the same ideology.”