The legislature’s Internal Administration Committee yesterday passed amendments to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) concerning the detention of Chinese citizens to bring the legislation in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by the government in 2009.
The Council of Grand Justices’ Interpretation No. 710, announced in 2013, called for improvements to Article 18 of the act regulating the forced deportation and detention of Chinese citizens, to guarantee their rights to legal procedures and personal freedom.
The amendments reviewed and passed by the committee include making it clear that the enforcing authority is the Ministry of the Interior’s National Immigration Agency (rather than “police authorities”) granting those who are to be deported an opportunity to make their claims, and convening a review meeting for claims made by those whose permission for residence or for registered permanent residence has been revoked or repealed, as stipulated in the Immigration Act (出入國及移民法).
Other changes include scrapping the regulation stating that those placed in temporary detention can also be ordered to perform labor services, and specifying that Chinese citizens can be held in custody for no longer than 150 days, or 100 days for Hong Kong and Macau residents
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) challenged the revision proposed by the Executive Yuan on granting those to be deported an opportunity to submit claims, but limiting the application to only those who entered Taiwan “with permission.”
“There are Chinese people who might have left China and come here because of political reasons and [without the required documents to enter Taiwan legally],” Yu said, demanding that the restrictions be deleted — to which the officials conformed.
DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智) questioned Mainland Affairs Council Minister Andrew Hsia (夏立言) on whether the Chinese government has made similar progress on regulations to protect Taiwanese detained in China.
Hsia said the Chinese authorities have always “claimed” to follow the law in this regard.
“There is the Cross-Strait Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement, which stipulates that the family of a detained Taiwanese [businessperson] should be notified by the Chinese authorities within 24 hours,” Hsia said, acknowledging that this does not apply to all Taiwanese in China.
Yao urged Hsia to bring the matter up during his meeting with China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), which is scheduled to take place in Kinmen at the end of the month.
DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) and People First Party Legislator Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔) said the government should also protest against Beijing’s new draft national security law that includes Taiwan as part of its “sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Emphasizing that the Republic of China is a sovereign country, Hsia said the council has already issued a statement denouncing any unilateral attempt to alter the “status quo.”
Pressed by Lee, Hsia said the council would raise concerns about the Chinese law at the meeting.
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