Taiwan admonishes citizens not to use PRC passports

2017/07/30 19:53:49
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, July 30 (CNA) Taiwan's government admonished its citizens Sunday not to use passports issued by China, reminding them that using a People's Republic of China passport puts them at risk of losing their rights and benefits as citizens of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

The government quoted the law governing relations between the people of Taiwan and the people of the mainland area to abide by the law's provisions that prohibit Taiwanese people from taking any official position in China's political, military or party apparatuses.

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan's top agency for dealing with China, issued a statement in response to a Hong Kong media report indicating that China might launch a pilot program in which it will issue passports for citizens of what it describes as its "Taiwan Special Administrative Region (SAR)," as part of Beijing's efforts to "solve the Taiwan problem."

Violations of the relevant provisions in Taiwan's law could result in criminal suits or administrative fines, depending on the suspect's status as a public servant or a private citizen, said the MAC.

In a July 28 report, Super Media discussed how Chinese President Xi Jinping is aiming to "solve the Taiwan problem" within his terms in office, which are likely to end in 2023. The report quoted some Chinese scholars as suggesting that Beijing could set up a "Taiwan SAR Council" and issue passports for citizens of the "Taiwan SAR."

Rebutting the idea of looking at Taiwan as an SAR of the PRC, the MAC said it is an indisputable fact that the Republic of China on Taiwan is a sovereign country.

The reported suggestions by Chinese academics to see Taiwan as an SAR of China are ludicrous and misleading, an indication that risks do exist in China of taking an excessively hostile stance on Taiwan.

"This line of thinking seeks to invoke a stand-off and provoke Taiwan by downgrading its status and humiliating it whenever possible," according to the MAC statement, which warned the Chinese authorities of a "potential crisis" being triggered by the hawkish proposals.

It urged China to take a hard look at the firm determination of Taiwan's 23 million people, who will do all they can to protect their national sovereignty and dignity, as well as their democracy.

(By Yang Sheng-ju and S.C. Chang)
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