The management mechanisms for the visit of civil servants to mainland China are enhanced by amending the Statute for Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (Taiwan)

Fang-Wei Lin

The Legislative Yuan adopted the amendments to the Statute for Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (hereinafter as “the Statute”) by three readings on July 3, 2019 to further create an accommodating legal regime for the “safety net for democracy” following the legal amendments concerning the offense against the external security of the state, the Classified National Security Information Protection Law, and the National Security Law.

According to the Mainland Affairs Commission (hereinafter, the “MAC”), the regulatory control period for the visit of retired and resigned/discharged civil servants to mainland China is changed from the current “three years where the agency which they previously served can increase or decrease such period” to “at least three years where the agency which they previously served can only increase but cannot decrease such period” under Article 9, Paragraph 7 of the Statuteas amended.  In addition, a reporting system is added in Paragraph 8 of the same article of the same law, which provides that retired or resigned/discharged civil servants whose previous work involves the security, interest or confidential business of the state may be required to report to the agency where they previously served before leaving for mainland China and after returning from mainland China following the expiration of their regulatory control period.

According to the MAC, for politically appointed deputy heads of agencies relating to national defense, diplomacy, mainland affairs and national security or personnel above the rank of major general, Article 9-3 and Article 91, Paragraphs 6 and 8 are added to the Statute.  To be specific, in case of participation in activities organized by agencies in mainland China which relate to the Communist Party of China, military or politics to the extent of undermining the dignity of the state, a fine will be imposed, the pension payment will be stopped or cancelled, and the medals which have been awarded will be taken back.  In addition, the handling of individual cases involving legal violations should be examined and confirmed by a committee set up by the agency where the individuals previously served in conjunction with relevant agencies such as the National Security Bureau, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice and the MAC.

The MAC further pointed out that incumbent civil servants and controlled retired and resigned/discharged civil servants shall propose and submit a written opinion after returning to Taiwan from their visit to mainland China.  To further institutionalize and systemize the collaboration platform and reporting mechanisms, Article 9, Paragraphs and 11 of the Statute as amended also contain specific new provisions to improve the system and enhance compliance with laws and regulations.  Further relevant reporting procedures are yet to be formulated by the Ministry of the Interior for submission to the Executive Yuan for approval.