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Taiwanese fugitive in China stripped of citizenship

05/23/2024 04:42 PM
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The Taipei District Prosecutors Office. CNA file photo
The Taipei District Prosecutors Office. CNA file photo

Taipei, May 23 (CNA) A Taiwanese fugitive in China, who allegedly has become a member of a political organization there, has lost his citizenship in his home country, according to Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC).

Lien Shang-ming's (連上銘) Taiwanese citizenship was revoked after it was found that he had obtained a household registration in China, the MAC said in statement issued Wednesday.

Taiwan citizens are prohibited from registering households in China, holding a Chinese passport, or serving in China's political, military or administrative organizations, the MAC said, citing the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

Lien has been deemed a fugitive since he was charged with offenses related to vote buying in Taiwan and he is currently under investigation by Taiwan authorities because he allegedly has become a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the MAC said.

According to a Jan. 25 report on a media site in Beijing, Lien is a member of the CPPCC's Hunan Province chapter and director of a service center for Taiwan investors in Yueyang City.

The MAC said Lien has been on a wanted list in Taiwan since 2020, when the Taipei District Prosecutors Office charged him for illegally trying to sway voters in Taiwan's presidential election that year.

He was accused of using Chinese funds to woo support for then-Kuomintang presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) by hosting fundraisers among Taiwanese expatriates in China and subsidizing airfares for them to return to Taiwan, in collaboration with six other Taiwanese citizens there.

One of the six, Lin Huai (林懷), who was head of a Taiwan investors association in Changsha at the time, is now serving a 38-month prison sentence in Taiwan after he was convicted of election interference crimes.

Lien, meanwhile, has been living in Yueyang since 1999 and is married to a Chinese woman, according to Chinese media reports.

In 2007, he became head of the Taiwan investors service center there and has since been organizing a series of annual activities for young people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

(By Flor Wang, Lin Chang-shun and Wu Po-wei)

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