Taiwanese-born cadre says she's 'mentally prepared' to lose citizenship

Taiwanese-born Communist cadre says she's more concerned about 'plight of those who support unification' in Taiwan

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Ling Yu-shih. (Weibo image)

Ling Yu-shih. (Weibo image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Before giving a speech in Beijing that has been widely panned by Taiwanese, a Taiwanese-born Communist cadre told Hong Kong media yesterday (March 14) that she was "mentally prepared" that it could mean the revocation of her Taiwanese citizenship.

Video surfaced on Monday showing Ling Yu-shih (凌友詩), committee member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and an honorary researcher at the Research Centre for Contemporary Chinese Culture of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, giving an excessively theatrical speech during a plenary meeting of the 2nd session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee. In the speech, she praised the "one China" principle, the "one country, two systems" framework, and expressed her eagerness for Taiwan's "unification" with China.

In response to rumors that she had a U.S. green card during an interview with Hong Kong's Sing Tao Daily, Ling said that she has been continuously living in Hong Kong for many years and only traveled to the U.S. twice, each time staying for only a week.

Regarding her citizenship status, Ling told the newspaper that "I love and trust my country. Apart from a household registration in Taiwan and permanent resident status in Hong Kong, I have no citizenship or residence rights in other countries. Taiwan and Hong Kong belong to the same territory as China. I am a Chinese citizen."

When asked about the possible imposition of a penalty or the cancellation of her household registration (戶口, hukou), she said that she had acquired permanent residence status in Hong Kong. "The cancellation of my household registration by the Taiwan authorities has not had such a big impact on me in practice. I am more concerned about the plight of those who support 'unification' on the island."

According to the report, Ling said she had already thought through the consequences of her speech: "If I have my household registration canceled. There is no alternative. However, when I accepted the appointment as a member of the CPPCC and wrote this speech at the conference, I had already made mental preparations. I firmly believe that this helplessness will not last long."

During a committee meeting at the Legislative Yuan on Wednesday (March 13), Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) inquired whether Ling’s citizenship and healthcare could be revoked. In response, Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said that the ministry is likely to cancel her citizenship for violating the law.

If she was found to have a Chinese hukou or passport, it would represent a violation of Article 9 of the Act Government Relations Between People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例). The law states that if a Taiwanese person obtains a Chinese hukou or passport, their Taiwanese hukou will be canceled.

Taiwanese law also prohibits its citizens from joining the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the People's Liberation Army (PLA), or any administrative or legal organs in China. Taiwanese who join the CCP 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 in October of 2017.