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China invite to commemorative event 'united front' tactic: Minister

06/13/2024 02:21 PM
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Veterans Affairs Council Minister Yen De-fa (center). CNA photo June 13, 2024
Veterans Affairs Council Minister Yen De-fa (center). CNA photo June 13, 2024

Taipei, June 13 (CNA) China's Central Military Commission has approached retired generals in Taiwan and invited them to attend the centennial of the Whampoa Military Academy as part of its "united front" campaign, Veterans Affairs Council Minister Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said Thursday.

According to local media reports, a number of retired Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan's official name) generals are set to visit the academy's original site in Guangzhou, China, where the Chinese government will mark the institution's centennial, which falls on June 16.

The ROC Military Academy will hold its own celebration that day in Kaohsiung.

The Whampoa Military Academy was "revived" in Kaohsiung's Fengshan District in 1950 after the then Kuomintang (KMT) government retreated to Taiwan after losing the Chinese Civil War. Today it is known as the ROC Military Academy.

Yen was asked by reporters whether the government has prepared for the possibility of retired generals attending the celebration in Guangzhou being used by China as propaganda.

The minister replied that the Chinese Communist Party Central Military Commission had approached some ROC retired generals and invited them to attend the event in Guangzhou.

The council sees this as a united front tactic by the Chinese government, Yen said.

The council has contacted some veterans who are attending the celebration in Guangzhou, reminding them not to take interviews or attend political events and to be careful not to leak personal information, he said.

Veterans visiting Guangzhou for the occasion will do so as individuals, and the council has not heard of any retired military personnel going as part of a tour group, he said.

Yen called on retired generals attending the Guangzhou event to heed the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area and national security laws.

Article 9-3 of the act stipulates that nobody who previously held the rank of major general or higher shall participate in any ceremony or activity held by a Chinese political party, government agency or the Chinese military that could compromise Taiwan's national dignity.

Conduct harmful to national dignity refers to acts such as saluting the flag or emblems of the People's Republic of China (PRC), singing the PRC's national anthem, or honoring other symbols of the PRC's political authority.

Those found to have violated this rule risk having their pensions suspended or stripped and recalled, in addition to a possible fine of NT$20,000 to NT$10 million.

(By Sean Lin)

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