《TAIPEI TIMES》 Bill to address citizen requirements for office
Police officers guard an entrance to the Legislative Yuan in Taipei in an undated photograph. Photo: Lin Liang-sheng, Taipei Times
CONFLICTING RULES: While the Nationality Act requires people running for public office to have only Taiwanese citizenship, another act contradicts that requirement, legislators said
By Chen Cheng-yu / Staff reporter
Democratic Progressive Party （DPP） legislators have proposed a bill that would ban Chinese who obtain Taiwanese citizenship from running for office if they fail to produce documents showing that they have renounced their Chinese nationality.
DPP legislators Wang Ting-yu （王定宇） and Lin Ching-yi （林靜儀） proposed the bill to amend the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area （兩岸人民關係條例） following media reports that the Taiwan People’s Party （TPP） considered nominating Xu Chunying （徐春鶯） — a Chinese immigrant who has lived in Taiwan for 30 years and obtained Republic of China citizenship through marriage 23 years ago — for its legislators-at-large list.
The reported nomination of Xu, who chairs the Taiwan New Residents’ Development Association, caused a public uproar, as she has allegedly voiced support for unification with Taiwan and allegedly has not yet renounced her Chinese nationality.
The proposed amendment was submitted to the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee for review on Friday.
Currently, the act only requires Chinese nationals who have Taiwanese identification cards to cancel their household registrations in China and be registered with a household in Taiwan for more than 10 years before they are allowed to run for public office, without having to renounce their Chinese nationality, Wang and Lin said in their bill.
However, the Nationality Act （國籍法） requires those serving in public offices to hold only Taiwanese nationality as they are obligated to demonstrate loyalty to the country.
“The Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area not only contravenes the constitutional principle of equality by treating Chinese and Taiwanese differently, it has reduced the loyalty requirement in the Nationality Act to an unenforceable law,” they said.
The legislators proposed that Chinese nationals with Taiwanese citizenship show proof that they have renounced their Chinese nationality before they are allowed to work in government or run for public office.
Wang and Lin also proposed an amendment to Article 16 of the Laws and Regulations Regarding Hong Kong and Macau Affairs （香港澳門關係條例） to require residents from the Chinese territories to show documents proving they have renounced their Chinese nationality before they can register as political candidates in Taiwan, form political parties and work in government, academic institutions and state-run business organizations.
The legislators said that Hong Kong and Macau have demonstrated major political, economic and social differences from Taiwan after returning to China’s governance.
Currently, residents from the territories who are permitted to enter Taiwan are allowed to register as candidates for public office, serve in the military and organize political parties if they have maintained a registered domicile in Taiwan for 10 years, while those who have entered Taiwan with permission must have a household registration for one full year before they can join the military, run for office or form political parties.
DPP Legislator Tang Hui-jane （湯蕙禎） also proposed an amendment to the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area that would ban certain Chinese nationals from serving in the Taiwanese military or working in intelligence and defense agencies, including those who currently or previously worked for the Chinese government, Chinese news media or the Chinese Communist Party.