As Taiwan is engulfed in worries about Chinese infiltration, news reports have revealed that power inverters made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co are used in the solar panels on the top of the Legislative Yuan’s Zhenjiang House (鎮江會館) on Zhenjiang Street in Taipei.
However, what is even more worrying is that Taiwan’s new national electronic identification card (eID) has been subcontracted to the French security firm and eID maker Idemia, which has not only cooperated with the Chinese Public Security Bureau to manufacture eIDs in China, but also makes the new identification cards being issued in Hong Kong.
There might be more Chinese influence in Idemia than in the “red supply chain.”
After a sample of Hong Kong’s new identification card was approved, a Hong Kong technician wrote an article about the strengths and weaknesses of its anti-counterfeiting features.
The technician said that the card maker, Morpho (now Idemia), said on its Web site that it works with China’s Public Security Bureau and provides biometric systems for the Chinese government, immigration agencies and other public offices, and that it is an important player for providers of biometric solutions for immigration control.
According to Idemia’s Web site, Morpho was previously a part of Safran Group, which has a long history of doing business with China. In 2017, Morpho was acquired and renamed Idemia.
Safran’s Web site shows that as early as 2015, Morpho was supplying biometrics, law enforcement equipment and border control systems to the Public Security Bureau. Before that, the company had provided facial recognition systems for Chinese public security authorities in Shanghai, Tianjin and Wenzhou, and the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Guangzhou.
Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) once said: “China is the only country in the world that would like to invade Taiwan. What can we do if we let China handle the new eID manufacturing? The information of all Taiwan’s citizens is here.”
“The printing of ID cards and chip manufacturing must be handled with the strictest caution from a national security perspective,” he also said.
Despite this, the government is covertly subcontracting the production of eIDs to the very manufacturer that makes Hong Kong’s cards and collaborates with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese Public Security Bureau to make biometric control systems and Chinese eIDs.
The government is investigating whether the e-commerce Web site Taobao Taiwan shares its platform with China’s Taobao, but it does not question whether the overseas manufacturer of blank eIDs for Taiwan has any association with the Hong Kong government, the CCP or the Public Security Bureau, or is sharing platforms, systems, programs, technology, information and personnel with them.
At this moment, the risk to the personal information of every Taiwanese is far greater than the threat posed by the red supply chain. The new eID card samples are already available in Taiwan — will the government really just sit back and wait for something to happen?
Chen Yi-nan is convener of the Northern Taiwan Society’s Technology and Environmental Protection Group.
Translated by Lin Lee-kai
For China observers, especially those in Taiwan, the past decade has brought awareness of an increasing obsession by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with control. It seeks to control not simply national policy, but all aspects of its citizens’ lives. Not a week passes without some new aspect of Chinese life being brought under CCP control. This forces obvious questions: Why this obsession? And what is driving it? When any one-party state, which already controls government, yet seeks to expand and tighten that control, it bodes ill. With a country the size of China, it bodes ill for Taiwan, Asia and the
Taiwan is now entering a period of maximum danger from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) due to an accelerating Chinese military challenge now emboldened by a shocking dive in American strategic credibility occasioned by its humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan. This means there is a much higher chance that in the next one to three years CCP leader Xi Jinping (習近平) may order the PLA to invade Taiwan because he believes the PLA can win and that the Americans can be dissuaded from coming to Taiwan’s aid in time. It is still possible for Taiwan and Washington
Another year, and another UN General Assembly is convening without Taiwan. Today marks the opening of the assembly’s 76th session at the UN headquarters in New York City, with the option to attend remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which once again promises to be its main focus under the theme “Building resilience through hope.” As they do every year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and overseas compatriot groups are organizing campaigns to call for Taiwan’s participation in the global body. However, unlike previous years, Taiwan seems to be riding a higher wave of support than usual. The pandemic has exposed countless shortcomings
In an op-ed on Friday, Chen Hung-hui (陳宏煇), a former university military instructor, applauded the government’s efforts to reduce the “supply, demand and harm of cannabis.” (“Cannabis use booms on campuses,” Sept. 10, page 8). Chen recounted a story of a boy who partied with the “wrong crowd,” smoked cannabis and died. This story cannot be true, because cannabis is not deadly. Consuming too much can feel mighty unpleasant, but it will not kill a person. This fact is not only backed up by science and statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control, but is well-known in countries where cannabis