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Mainland Affairs Council

Briefing Room

MAC News Briefing Jul 09, 2009

Subjects:
  • Regulation that people of the Mainland Area becoming ROC nationals through changes in their personal status, but with a household registration in Taiwan for less than 20 years may not hold military or intelligence positions is based on national security considerationss
  • Primary consideration for travel to the Mainland by officials to participate in exchange activities lies in relevance to job responsibilities
  • MAC Minister Lai accepts invitation to attend a seminar

MAC Regular Press Briefing

  Briefer : Johnnason Liu, Deputy Minister
Date : July 9, 2009
Location : Taipei

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Regulation that people of the Mainland Area becoming ROC nationals through changes in their personal status, but with a househould registration in Taiwan for less than 20 years may not hold military or intelligence positions is based on national security considerations

QUESTION: According to media reports, the Ministry of Defense has stipulated that Taiwanese children born on the Mainland cannot register to take the examination for entrance into military schools. The MOD is saying this stipulation has been set by the MAC. Is this true? Is this stipulation a kind of discrimination?

DEPUTY MINISTER LIU:

■ Article 21 of the Act Governing Relations Between People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (thereafter referred to as the Act), as promulgated in 1992, stipulates that any of the people of the Mainland Area who has become an ROC national may not occupy any military or civil service position unless he/she has had a household registration in the Taiwan Area for at least ten years. That is to say, although mainlanders have changed their personal status and had a household registration in the Taiwan Area, they still have a ten-year waiting period before they may occupy a military or civil service position.

■ When the aforementioned Act was revised in 2003, because cross-strait relations were still tense, in explaining the revision it was stated that according to Paragraph 1 of Article 21 of the Act, any of the people of the Mainland Area with a household registration in Taiwan for more than ten years is eligible to hold military and civil service positions in Taiwan. But mainland China has maintained its hostility toward Taiwan and has not abandoned the use of force against Taiwan. In consideration of the then cross-strait situation, it was necessary to formulate and carry out stricter regulations and controls concerning certain jobs that had a very significant impact on national security, as well as those jobs at agencies of a special nature, since these jobs were different from ordinary civil service and educational positions. Thus the restriction on the household registration was extended from ten to twenty years at that time.

■ According to the current Act, jobs not available to mainlanders with a household registration in Taiwan for less then twenty years include those at intelligence agencies and defense agencies. Whether it is the ten-year period as stipulated in the Act promulgated in 1992 or the twenty-year period as stipulated in the revised Act in 2003, these restrictions underline that in facing cross-strait relations, we still have to consider national security and factors related to jobs at special agencies. Of course, due to the evolution of cross-strait relations and the establishment of various exchange mechanisms and negotiation platforms, these will inevitably lead to various reviews related to the Act. This is something that can be discussed in the future.

Primary consideration for travel to the Mainland by officials to participate in exchange activities lies in relevance to job responsibilities

QUESTION: With regard to politically-appointed officials attending cross-strait exchange activities organized by the KMT-CPC forums or civilian entities, what on earth are the MAC’s standards for approval?

DEPUTY MINISTER LIU: In the past there have been several deputy ministers who participated in academic seminars in the Mainland Area. As long as the activity relates to administrative tasks under a person’s responsibilities, there has never been a problem in the past in the approval process, and there would never be different standards for officials of different ranks. The key to carrying out the travel is whether the activity is related to administrative tasks under a person’s responsibilities. If the activity is task-related, a deputy minister, department head or relevant personnel can travel to the Mainland Area in conformity with the stipulations of relevant permit regulations, and the travel may proceed.

QUESTION: Last year some Taiwanese officials applied for permission to attend the KMT-CPC Forum on a special case-by-case basis. People were worried that participation of this kind might create a situation that did not distinguish between party and government, yet this year officials set off openly to attend the forum. What is the MAC’s policy position on this?

DEPUTY MINISTER LIU:

■ Our policy position is clear, and there has been no change. Currently, the sole government-authorized mechanism is the institutionalized negotiation channel of the SEF and the ARATS. All related issues have been handled via this platform. No matter what kind of civilian entity it is, unless it has been authorized by the government, it may not be part of any future negotiation mechanism.

■ This time the deputy ministers from the relevant agencies and MAC department directors traveled to the Mainland to participate in the KMT-CPC Forum with the hope of getting an understanding, from the expert’s perspective, of discussions and opinions on relevant issues. After they return home, this information will be used as a reference for handling task-related matters. The sole authorized government channel for future negotiations will remain that of the institutionalized negotiations between the SEF and the ARATS. The above-mentioned track will not be included into the negotiation mechanism.

QUESTION: Early this morning President Ma clearly announced the idea that the KMT-CPC Forum will probably develop in the direction of a Cross-Strait Forum. If this change is made, will there be the need to have the MAC participate? Are there any concrete plans in this regard?

DEPUTY MINISTER LIU: Basically, there is no need for adjustments in any negotiations conducted via government mechanisms. Currently, the sole channel for handling related issues remains the SEF and the ARATS.

MAC Minister Lai accepts invitation to attend a seminar to be held between July 10 and July 18 by US Brookings Institution

QUESTION: Would you please give us a more detailed briefing on the US visit by MAC Minister Lai?

DEPUTY MINISTER LIU: Minister Lai has accepted an invitation to attend a seminar to be held between July 10 and July 18 by the US Brookings Institution. She will give an address at the seminar and will visit Washington, DC and New York to meet political and academic figures and will also have informal discussions with people in the overseas Chinese community.