The Executive Yuan yesterday approved amendments to lift a prohibition against Taiwanese adopting the children of their Chinese spouses, and exempting income earned in Taiwan by Hong Kong and Macanese maritime and aviation companies from taxes to pave the way for bilateral double-taxation avoidance agreements.
The Cabinet revised a clause in the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例), which prohibits Taiwanese from adopting Chinese children if the adoptive parent already has a child or if the adoptive parent adopts two or more children at the same time.
Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said the council had drafted the measure in response to the Council of Grand Justices’ Constitutional Interpretation No. 712, handed down on Oct. 4, 2013, declaring that Item 1 of Article 65 of the act was unconstitutional.
The interpretation stems from an adoption case in 2007, in which a court ruled against the request of 82-year-old Wang Shao-hsiang (汪少祥) to adopt the son of his wife, Liu Qian (劉茜), from her previous marriage, on the grounds that Wang had three daughters from his previous marriage.
The council also drafted an amendment to the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例) to prevent double taxation of Taiwanese maritime and aviation firms in Hong Kong and Macau and vice versa.
The amendment is to lay the legal framework for the reciprocal tax exemption to improve the competitiveness of Taiwanese companies.
The Hong Kong-Macua tax deal can move forward even though a cross-strait double taxation avoidance agreement signed in August last year has yet to be approved by the legislature, because interactions with the two Chinese territories is not subject to cross-strait regulations, Chiu said.
However, “we cannot proceed with the cross-strait double taxation avoidance agreement until the legislation of a proposed cross-strait agreement oversight bill is completed,” he said.
In other developments, Premier Lin Chuan (林全) has asked the Cabinet to tighten controls over key retired officials who had access to national security information as part of their jobs, Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said.
The premier’s order follows a controversial visit to China by more than 30 retired military officers last week, who attended an event where Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) delivered a speech, and who stood at attention when the Chinese national anthem was played.
Lin asked Minister Without Portfolio Lin Mei-chu (林美珠) to assess the possibility of extending the current three-year travel restriction on retired high-ranking officials and military personnel, to establish a mechanism to screen overseas travel requests by former key officials and to establish penalties for violations such as suspension of pensions and award revocations.
The assessment must be finalized by the end of this year, Hsu said.
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