Mon, Jul 31, 2017 - Page 3 News List

MAC urges public not to use Chinese passports

By Lin Liang-sheng and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday urged the public not to use People’s Republic of China (PRC) passports because it puts them at risk of losing the rights and benefits they have as Republic of China (ROC) citizens.

The council statement followed a report by Hong Kong-based Super Media on Friday that China might launch a pilot program to issue passports for people living in what it describes as the “Taiwan Special Administrative Region” (SAR) as part of its efforts to “solve the Taiwan problem.”

A China-based academic suggested that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) establish a preparatory committee for a proposed “Taiwan SAR” and invite public figures from Taiwan to participate, the report said.

The committee would issue “Taiwan SAR” passports to Taiwanese living in Hong Kong and Macau, the report said.

“The proposal shows that the atmosphere in the Chinese government is such that it is risky not to toe the party line on the issue of Taiwan,” the council said.

Some people in the Chinese government are using the current political atmosphere as an opportunity to try to belittle and humiliate Taiwan, as well as to provoke the nation, it added

“They are trying to incite conflict between the two sides [of the Taiwan Strait], which we will not accept. We would also like to remind the Chinese Communist Party to be aware of the latent risk of what it is doing,” the council said.

Under Article 9-1 of the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例), Taiwanese are not permitted to use passports issued by the PRC. Violators face losing their ROC citizenship and all associated rights.

Article 33 of the act prohibits Taiwanese from engaging in Chinese political or military affairs, or from becoming a member of any Chinese party or government-affiliated group.

China’s use of threats and political pressure against Taiwan has only hurt Taiwanese’s sentiments toward China and has not helped cross-strait relations, the council said.

It also called on China to adopt a benevolent approach toward Taiwan given the circumstances.

Additional reporting by CNA

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