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China's new travel card has no tracking functions: premier

China's new travel card has no tracking functions: premier

Taipei, Sept. 25 (CNA) Premier Mao Chi-kuo (???) said Friday that a new electronic entry card China is issuing to Taiwanese visitors has only limited storage capacity and has no tracking functions. The card is equipped with no more than 0.1 Mb of storage and does not store biometrics, Mao said in a special report to the Legislative Yuan. The report was delivered at the request of the Legislature amid suspicions that the new card is designed to downgrade Taiwan's status to that of Hong Kong and Macau and concerns that it might cause information security breaches. After starting a trial run in July, China on Sept. 21 began the full implementation of the new credit card-sized travel pass, which replaced the passport-style document that Taiwanese citizens have previously used to enter China. Mao has expressed the government's "extreme dissatisfaction" over the lack of prior discussion of the issue with Taiwan. In his report, Mao cited the results of an analysis by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) which show that the storage capacity of the new card is no more than 0.1 Mb and cannot store biometrics details of holders. According to the MAC analysis, the chip embedded in the card has no signal transmitting or satellite positioning functions, and therefore does not have the ability to track the movements of the holder. It also cannot record fingerprint information, he said. Before the mainland began full implementation of the card, the government had used various channels to request China to address the concerns, but Beijing never gave Taiwan a complete response, he said. He said that the government had emphasized its position that the card should not change its function as a travel pass, that its content should be the same as the old passport-sized document, that it should not be used to gather personal data, and that cross-Taiwan Strait relations should not be changed unilaterally by the mainland. In light of ever-developing technology, the government will continue to pay close attention to the implementation of the new card, he said. When dealing with major cross-strait issues in the future, the two sides should strengthen their communication to avoid similar controversy from happening, he added. He stressed that unilateral action taken by the mainland will not change Taiwan's stance on cross-strait relations, which is based on the Republic of China Constitution, nor will it change the government's policy of maintaining the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. (By Tai Ya-chen, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-07-26 09:24 GMT+08:00