Despite not being permitted to serve as standing members of national political committees in China, Taiwanese may be able to sit on such committees as specially appointed members, Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) said.
Many Taiwanese businesspeople in China want to be members of the committees of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference to have the ability to voice their opinions on Chinese bureaucracy, Liu said on Wednesday.
However, Taiwan’s Constitution does not allow Taiwanese to officially serve on such committees and neither does the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), Liu added.
Article 33 of the act stipulates that “any individual, juristic person, organization, or other institution of the Taiwan Area shall not hold any position or become any member of the agencies, institutions or organizations of the Mainland Area which are political parties, the military, the administration or of any political nature.”
However, Liu said there is still room for discussion on Taiwanese participation in such committees in the role of specially appointed or invited members.
China does allow “people from the Taiwan area” to be delegates in its top political advisory body, which are appointed through negotiations between the Chinese Communist Party, other political parties, a national business association and civic groups.
Turning to the issue of China’s new passports — which contain images of two tourist attractions in Taiwan — Liu said Chinese do not use their passports to enter Taiwan, but instead use a Mainland Residents Taiwan Pass. Their passports are used only for identity checks upon entering Taiwan if they do not have the pass, he added.
Requiring Chinese to apply for a special permit to enter and exit the country is a clear manifestation of Taiwan’s sovereignty, Liu said.
He said the council has held a meeting with relevant government agencies to decide whether Chinese visitors holding the controversial passport should be allowed to enter the country.
The inclusion of the Taiwanese locations in China’s new passport is seen by many in Taiwan as infringing on its sovereignty.