Taiwanese who join China's Communist Party could be fined up to NT$500,000

Taiwanese who join the Chinese Communist Party could face fines between NT$100,000 and NT$500,000

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Flag of Chinese Communist Party.

Flag of Chinese Communist Party. (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwanese who join the Communist Party of China (CPC) could face fines from NT$100,000 to NT$500,000 (US$3,390-US$16,950), said Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Katharine Chang (張小月), at a press conference on Tuesday (Oct. 31).

Chang made the announcement in the wake of news reports stating that Taiwanese Lu Li-an (盧麗安) attended the 19th National Congress as a delegate, 39-year-old graduate student Wang Yu-qing (王裕慶) told Hong Kong media he was planning to join the party after China's "two sessions" in 2018, and the government's creation of a list of 19 Taiwanese holding party, political or military office in China.

Chang added that the CPC is different from a general political party in Taiwan as it exclusively leads the government, and its final goal is the unification of Taiwan, after which China would implement the one country two systems policy in Taiwan. "The biggest difference between Taiwan and China is that Taiwan provides free and democratic mechanisms," said Chang.

The NSB, Taiwan’s top intelligence agency, told lawmakers on Oct. 26 that it had passed a list with 19 names of Taiwanese who held office in China’s Communist Party, military or government bodies to the MAC for further review.

Lawmakers questioned why not all 19 people on the list had lost their Taiwanese passports, but government officials did not address the issue and said the laws concerning Chinese and Taiwanese citizens would be respected.

An undisclosed number of the people on the list had already been stripped of their Taiwanese citizenship, including Lu's husband. She was born in Kaohsiung and studied in Scotland before moving to China in 1997, where she ended up as the deputy dean of Fudan’s department of foreign languages.

Lu herself was also no longer a Taiwanese citizen, so she could not return to the island to profit from its health insurance, the MAC said.

As for Wang's application to join the CPC, Chang told the media that this sort of situation in which a student joined the CPC has not occurred before and the MAC will continue to monitor the situation.

Chang urged Taiwanese students not to join the CPC as this would result in them not only receiving a fine, but also forfeiting their rights as citizens, including their national identification card and health insurance, among other benefits.

Based on Chinese law, only citizens with household registrations (hukou, 戶口) in China can become members of the CPC. But if a Taiwanese person registers their hukou in China, they forfeit their rights as household registration holders in Taiwan.