Several lawmakers yesterday expressed concerns about Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷) requesting information from the Ministry of National Defense for information — which reportedly included highly classified materials on military units.
Wu, a retired lieutenant general, previously sparked controversy when he reportedly attended an event in China commemorating the 150th birthday of Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) in 2016, when he sat through a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and stood for a rendition of the Chinese national anthem.
The ministry on Thursday confirmed that Wu had requested information, with local media quoting a ranking officer as saying that the requests included materials on cyberdefense units at the new Information and Electronic Warfare Command and troop deployments for all three major branches of the armed forces, as well as updates on combined service units and military operations plans.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), who serves on the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, said that while Wu is a retired officer, he sits on the legislature’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee, so he should focus on the tasks and issues concerning that panel.
“In addition to requesting information on cyberdefense units, Wu also inquired about the indigenous submarine development program. His actions are worrying and his motives are certainly questionable,” Wang said on Facebook yesterday.
The pro-independence Taiwan Statebuilding Party issued a statement condemning Wu.
“With the global Wuhan virus outbreak, China has stepped up its misinformation campaign, but Wu has not said a word. Now he wants to access classified information on Taiwan’s cyberwarfare units. We have to ask, is Wu collaborating with China from inside the legislature?” the party said.
While Wu’s requests are within the authority of a legislator, the doubts of the Taiwanese public must first be cleared up, Taiwan Statebuilding Party Legislator Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟) said, asking Wu: “Which side are you on? For whom do you fight?”
“Taiwanese know who we are fighting … that the enemy is China,” he added.
However, several KMT members defended Wu, saying that requesting information from government agencies is within the scope and authority of legislators.
As veteran, it is reasonable for him to request white papers and other reports from the ministry, Wu said, adding that contrary to media reports, he only requested public information, not “classified military materials.”
In a short statement, the ministry said that it had provided Wu with publicly available information, adding that lawmakers are authorized to make such requests in accordance with the legislature’s oversight role.
Additional reporting by CNA
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