More than 300 public servants traveled to China between 2006 and this year, posing a serious risk to national security, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislative caucus told a news conference yesterday.
Citing data provided by various government agencies, the TSU caucus said 366 officials, including those from the military, police and the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau, had traveled illegally to China during the past seven years.
“This phenomenon did not occur until President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office and eased restrictions on government officials visiting China in 2008. Since China is still viewed as an enemy of Taiwan, these increasing violations pose serious national security concerns,” TSU Legislator Yeh Chin-ling (葉津鈴) said.
The law governing public servants visiting China stipulates that high-ranking officials should submit an application before their departure and that violators will be subject to a fine of up to NT$100,000 (US$3,300), with those leaking national secrets facing a fine of up to NT$1 million.
Twenty-two police officers, including three high-ranking officers, failed to obtain permission before visiting China between 2008 and this year, Yeh said.
TSU Legislator Chou Ni-an (周倪安) cited National Security Bureau data that showed 53 public servants in 2012 and 81 last year illegally traveled to China.
Bureau section chief Cheng Chung-kai (鄭仲凱) said the bureau is in charge of gathering information on violations, while the Mainland Affairs Council handles follow-up measures.
Wang Min-wu (王敏吾), director of the National Police Agency’s Public Security Division, said there were no high-ranking officers in the 22 violators and all of the violators had been reprimanded.
Liu Ching-chung (劉靖中), human resources division chief of the Ministry of National Defense’s Department of Resource Planning, said most military violators had visited China via a third country.