Tue, May 07, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Concerns raised over Chinese spouses

SECURITY FEARS:DPP Legislator Chiu Chih-wei said military personnel married to Chinese citizens should not be able work in sensitive, intelligence-related positions

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party legislators Chiu Chih-wei, Chiu Yi-ying and Hsu Chih-chieh, left to right, speak to reporters in Taipei yesterday about their concern over marriages between military personnel working in sensitive units and Chinese spouses.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday voiced concern about marriages between military personnel and Chinese nationals, saying such unions raised the risk of security leaks.

DPP Legislator Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) told a press conference that applications and reviews should be required for military officers who want to marry a Chinese citizen.

The government should follow the example set by the Japan Self Defense Forces, which has assigned 600 personnel with Chinese spouses to positions unrelated to sensitive military intelligence, Chiu said.

A Chinese-language media report on Friday cited Ministry of National Defense statistics as showing at least 70 members of the military working in sensitive units have Chinese spouses, including a colonel who works in the Armaments Bureau.

The ministry said on Friday that not all personnel with Chinese spouses work in sensitive positions. It also said the Personal Information Protection Act (個人資料保護法) barred it from asking for the nationality of the spouses.

Since a marriage regulation for military personnel was abolished in 2005, active duty personnel no longer have to report their relationships to their units or seek approval for marriage.

DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) said the ministry has contradicted itself in recent remarks, since it would not have been able to provide the statistics about the number personnel with Chinese spouses if the law really did prohibit the gathering of such personal information.

“We do not oppose cross-strait marriages, but we wonder how the personnel completed their marriage registration, as the laws of the People’s Republic of China stipulate that registration requires the presence of a couple at government agencies in China,” she said.

Political Warfare Department Director-General Wang Ming-wo (王明我) told the legislature that the spouses in question all have Republic of China citizenship.

Wang and Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱) both said that military personnel married to Chinese had married in Taiwan, not China, and the ministry has maintained a comprehensive security check network.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said he supported the ministry keeping a list on the nationality of military spouses, but a demand for marriage applications and reviews would breach of human rights.

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