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Liu warns against distorting the issue of foreign residency

Premier stresses anyone joining Cabinet must give up green card

Liu warns against distorting the issue of foreign residency

Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) yesterday called on society not to exaggerate the green card issue as a matter of wrongdoing, stressing that anyone joining his administrative team must give up their foreign residency.
Premier Liu said that, in this age of globalization, people need to keep up with the advancing trends of the world, and so often require green cards in order to facilitate their work abroad. This country, Liu said, can benefit from people who possess this kind of foreign experience.
Liu, however, stressed that anyone joining the Cabinet must give up their green card. Liu made the remark when attending the event of the 121st anniversary of the Taiwan Railway Service in Taipei.
The Premier warned against distorting foreign residency into something wrong or disloyal to the country, saying that overly publicizing the negative side of the green card issue might discourage talented overseas nationals from coming to, or returning to, Taiwan.
Responding to lawmakers' demands that the Premier resigns from his post, Liu said he could quit the position, but he considered the green card discussions should not be exaggerated.
The Cabinet-level Central Personnel Administration Minister, Chen Ching-hsiou (陳清秀), responded yesterday to lawmakers' questions saying the former Democratic Progressive Party government had a total 21 officials with dual nationalities. Lawmakers demanded the CPA provide the list of the former 21 officials to Legislature within three days.
Minister Chen said the law did not forbid public servants from holding foreign residency. Whether government officials were allowed to hold foreign residency, and whether holding such meant being disloyal to this country, Chen said, needed further discussion.
DPP lawmaker Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) yesterday described the incumbent Cabinet as a "runaway Cabinet," as many Cabinet members had once applied for foreign residency. Chiu said Premier Liu should take society's opinion more seriously, and Liu should try to understand how the general public views so many Cabinet members holding the residencies abroad.
"Those green card holders inside the Cabinet have no faith to Taiwan, nor do they have loyalty to this country. In addition to the already known government officials, there are more people in the Cabinet who hold a foreign residency not yet exposed to the general public.
If Liu could not conduct a thorough investigation on the green card status, the whole Cabinet should resign en masse," said Chiu.
Regarding the criticism by the KMT for accusing 21 former DPP government officials of also holding foreign residencies, Chiu said they were all the exiled dissidents persecuted by the KMT during the martial law period, and they had no choice but to receive a foreign residency. They had all given up their residencies when they joined the former DPP government, he added.
The Kuomintang caucus party whip, Chang Sho-wen, yesterday demanded Premier Liu give a clear account on all the cabinet members' green card status before the deadline 5pm yesterday. Otherwise, Chang said, Liu should step down for his incompetency in dealing with the matter.
Chang's party comrade Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) posed a different view to Chang, and considered Liu should not step down over the green card controversy, but should provide a clear account of the case in order to win over the people's trust again.
"To solve all the problems for once and once for all, the Legislature needs to revise the Nationality Act. Also, the administrative team should provide a detailed discourse and interpretation to society, and let the general public understand that holding a foreign residency has nothing to do with disloyalty to the country," said Wu.


Updated : 2021-05-16 03:52 GMT+08:00