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NIA rejects KMT official's application to visit China (update)

2018/05/22 21:48:00

Taipei, May 22 (CNA) The National Immigration Agency (NIA) on Tuesday rejected an application by opposition Kuomintang (KMT) vice chairman and secretary-general Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) to visit China for the 10th Straits Forum in Xiamen in June due to the sensitive information he was privy to during his tenure as Presidential Office secretary-general in the administration of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

Under the Classified National Security Information Protection Act, officials who have handled classified information are required to obtain approval before leaving the country for a period of three years after retirement or resignation.

In this case, Article 9 of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area specifically subjects Tseng's travel plans to China for review for the same, aforementioned reasons.

In compliance with the law, the KMT filed the application with the Presidential Office for Tseng, who was scheduled to lead a delegation made up of party members and academics in June.

The NIA told CNA that a review committee made up of officials from the National Security Bureau, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice and the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), decided on Tuesday not to allow Tseng to go abroad.

It was revealed later in the day that the application of another KMT official expected to attend the forum, Lin Join-sane, (林中森), was also been rejected.

Lin, who is currently vice chairman of the KMT's National Policy Foundation, had his application to travel to China rejected due to his former position as chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation.

In a statement, the MAC pointed to the hostile actions Beijing has taken against Taiwan recently, including military drills, the sabotaging of diplomatic ties and exclusion from the the World Health Assembly, to make the point that it could be detrimental to Taiwan's national interest for two previously high-ranking officials to go to China right now.

KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) previously noted that should Tseng's application be rejected, the party will select another member to lead the delegation, and would respect the country's laws.

(By Kuan-lin Liu, Huang Lee-yun and Miao Zong-han)
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