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Lawmakers say retired generals that hurt Taiwan’s interests should be stripped of pension

Proposed punishments also include hefty fine of NT$10 million

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Former Air Force General Hsia Ying-chou.

Former Air Force General Hsia Ying-chou. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers are urging financial penalties for conduct by retired military officers that is deemed to undermine Taiwan's national interests.

Legislator Wang Mei-hui (王美惠) has proposed stripping retired military brass of their pensions and imposing a hefty fine of up to NT$10 million (US$359,326) if such personnel are found to have engaged in conduct jeopardizing the country’s interests. She stressed that former public servants must be held accountable for their words and actions and must not fail the country that supports them after retirement.

The move follows former Air Force General Hsia Ying-chou's (夏瀛洲) interview with Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the Global Times earlier this month in which he claimed People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft have the right to patrol Taiwan’s southwest airspace because “it’s China’s territory.”

While the act governing people's interactions with the other side of the Taiwan Strait forbids former high-ranking officials in national defense, foreign affairs, and national security areas from attending CCP-organized events, it does not stipulate whether remarks that potentially harm national sovereignty constitute a violation, China Times cited Wang as saying.

Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said Monday (Nov. 29) he believes statements by retired military personnel will only have limited influence on the country’s men and women in uniform, per the Liberty Times. The national defense ministry, however, “has its own means of countering such deeds,” adding that regulatory action is being discussed in the Cabinet.