Wed, Oct 17, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Public backs registering PRC permit holders

RESIDENCY ISSUE:The head of the Mainland Affairs Council said that it was drafting a proposal to require Taiwanese holding Chinese residency permits to register with it

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

More than 75 percent of Taiwanese believe that people who hold Chinese residency permits should not be allowed to run for public office in Taiwan, while more than half believe that they should be required to declare their Chinese residency, Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tung (陳明通) told lawmakers yesterday.

During a question-and-answer session, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Yosi Takun asked Chen and Premier William Lai (賴清德) about the council’s stance on Chinese residency permits for Taiwanese studying or working in the country, citing a survey conducted by the council.

The council has drafted a policy that would require Taiwanese holding such card to register their details with the council, Chen said.

The proposal has won support from more than half of the respondents to council surveys, Chen said, adding that it was also in line with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) stance on the permits.

Asked to comment on a proposal to strip Taiwanese of their right to campaign for public office — including legislative seats, mayoralties or commissionership s— if they hold a Chinese residence permit, Chen said it was “reasonable.”

“It is impossible to make a living in China and be a commissioner [in Taiwan] at the same time,” he said. “If you want to start a life in China, the government would keep an open mind and wish you a convenient life.”

“However, running for a legislative seat or county commissioner while holding a residency card is out of the question,” he said.

The government wants to take an accommodative approach to Taiwanese working or studying in China, but if they were to live there for at least six months, the government must come up with some management plans, the premier said.

The council would decide what measures to take after discussing the issue with legislators, he said.

Citing President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)’s Double Ten National Day speech, Lai he hoped Beijing picked up on the goodwill extended by Tsai and would stop oppressing Taiwan in the international community, while taking heed of Taiwanese “mainstream opinion.”

These are the key to resolving the standoff across the Taiwan Strait, he said.

The two sides of the Strait has a responsibility to maintain peace, and Beijing should not jump at every opportunity to bully Taiwan, making it a source of conflicts, he said.

Beijing unveiled the residency card for Taiwanese in August.

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