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China weighs in on cross-strait household registration issue

2017/11/15 16:35:10

Lu Li-an (盧麗安, CNA file photo)

Taipei, Nov. 15 (CNA) China and Taiwan are both the home of Lu Li-an (盧麗安), a Chinese government spokesman has said in response to the Taiwanese native losing her household registration in Taiwan after attending the Chinese Communist Party's 19th Party Congress.

Ma Xiaoguang, the spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said at a press conference Wednesday that Lu is a "compatriot born and raised in Taiwan province" who chose to join the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) based on her own observations and considerations.

"Whatever measures Taiwan takes, they will not compromise her love of her native home and of her home country -- the mainland," Ma said, adding that mainland China and Taiwan are both her home.

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan's top government agency in charge of China policy, said on Oct. 26 that because Lu's household had been registered in China, the Ministry of the Interior had revoked her household status in Taiwan based on Taiwanese law.

Lu, 49, was born in Kaohsiung and in 1997 moved to Shanghai where she is now deputy dean of Fudan University's College of Foreign Languages and Literature.

To be able to join the CCP and attend its party congress, Lu had to register her household in China, according to Chinese law, leading to Taiwan's action to strip her of her household registration in Taiwan.

Losing one's household registration in Taiwan means the loss of many citizenship rights, such as the right to vote.

The MAC said on Oct. 7 after learning she had been elected to attend the CCP's 19th National Congress that it would respect Lu's choice of her personal identity.

Lu's case also triggered a warning by the MAC in late October that Taiwanese citizens who join the CCP could be fined NT$100,000 to NT$500,000 (US$3,390-US$16,950) for violating Taiwan's law.

In response to that warning, however, Ma said on Wednesday that Taiwan should "give up its hostile thinking and respect the choices to Taiwan's people."

Ma was also asked what conditions were needed to make a meeting possible between President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of Taiwan and President Xi Jinping (習近平) of China.

The spokesman said that if Taiwan really wants to break the stalemate across the Taiwan Strait and develop relations with China, it has to take action to recognize the historical fact of the "1992 consensus" and that both sides of the Strait belong to "one China".

The consensus refers to a tacit agreement that essentially implies China and Taiwan are part of "one China," with each side free to interpret what that actually means.

Meanwhile, in response to a question about the case involving the detention of Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲) in China for "subversion of state power," Ma said the ruling on Lee's case will be announced within the legally stipulated time frame.

That time frame appears to have passed, however, as it should have come within two months of the conclusion of Lee's trial on Sept. 11. China observers have suggested that the court may have already reached a verdict in the case in secret but would not announce it.

(By Ozzy Yin and Evelyn Kao)