TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Nine retired Taiwanese generals reportedly skipped the celebrations for Communist China's 70th anniversary in Beijing on Tuesday (Oct. 1) because they feared having to pay a NT$10 million (US$322,000) fine based on a new law barring them from attending such activities.
In November 2016, retired Lt. Gen. Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷) and other retired generals went to China to participate in a Sun Yat-sen memorial event hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平). When the Chinese national anthem was played, the generals were caught on video standing up to pay their respects, angering many in Taiwan.
In July of this year, Taiwan's Legislative Yuan amended the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, to prohibit military officers ranked major-general or higher, deputy chiefs and chiefs of the Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and National Security Bureau, as well as chiefs of intelligence agencies, from attending political or military events held by the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese government, or Chinese military.
Those found to be "impairing the dignity of the nation" by paying obeisance to Communist Chinese flags, emblems, or anthems, could see their monthly pensions halted. Alternatively, they could face a fine of between NT$2 million and NT$10 million.
For the 70th anniversary of the Communist Chinese takeover of China, nine retired Taiwanese generals were invited to attend the ceremonies in Beijing, including Chi Lin-lien (季麟連), Ning Yu-wu (甯攸武), Fu Wei-ku (傅慰孤), Chen Sheng-wen (陳盛文), Kao An-kuo (高安國), Wang Wen-hsieh (王文燮), Huang Hsing-chiang (黃幸強), Hsia Ying-chou (夏瀛洲), and Lee Shao-hung (李少弘). However, ETtoday reports that in the end, none of them attended because they were worried they might be deprived of their monthly pensions or be fined NT$10 million.
Taiwanese public figures who attended the lavish communist celebrations in Beijing included, Taiwan TV commentator Huang Chih-hsien (黃智賢), former Taiwan Government Information Office official Kuo Kuan-ying (郭冠英), Emeritus Professor Chang Lin-cheng (張麟徵), President of the Promotion of the Peaceful Unification of the Two Sides the Taiwan Strait Association (台灣海峽兩岸和平統一促進會) Kuo Chun-tzu (郭俊次), Chairman of the General Chamber of Commerce Lai Cheng-yi (賴正鎰), and President of the Federation of Overseas Chinese Association (僑聯總會) Chien Han-sheng (簡漢生).
Taiwanese political figures who attended the extravagant event included Former Chairman of the Alliance for the Reunification of China Chi Chia-lin (戚嘉林), Party Chairman Chi Hsin (紀欣), Chairman of the Chinese Unity Promotion Party (CUPP) Chang Fu-tang (張馥堂), Patriotic Alliance Association member Chou Ching-chun (周慶峻), and Taiwan People's Communist Party member Lin Te-wang (林德旺).