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Two Cabinet members have foreign residency rights: premier

Background checks on Cabinet members revealed that two officials hold residency rights in another country and none have foreign citizenship, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan said Tuesday.
The two officials are Sports Affairs Council Minister Tai Hsia-ling, who has permanent resident status in Canada but has applied to give it up; and Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission Deputy Minister Hsu Chen-jung, who is a permanent resident of the Philippines, according to Liu.
Liu said the Cabinet will soon carry out similar checks on diplomatic officials and will focus especially on whether they hold U.S. permanent residency rights.
The checks were conducted and completed Monday after the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) challenged the allegiance of several officials in the KMT administration who either once held a U.S. green card, allegedly still hold a U.S. green card, or have applied for a U.S. green card.
The Nationality Act forbids ROC nationals with foreign citizenship from assuming public office and requires those with foreign citizenship to be removed from their posts. The law, however, does not forbid public servants from holding permanent resident status in a foreign country.
The issue ballooned after Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco H.L. Ou, responding to a related media report, admitted last week that he obtained U.S. permanent resident status in 2005 when he was the ROC ambassador to Guatemala, but renounced the status one month before assuming his ministerial position May 20.
Last Friday, DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling claimed that two other members of the Cabinet still hold a U.S. green card.
Also, she said Jason Yuan, the incoming ROC representative to the United States, applied for permanent residence in the United States in 2004, and she claimed he is on a green card waiting list.
Issuing a statement in the United States Friday, Yuan said he did apply for U.S. permanent residence in 2004 but officially filed for a termination of the application process early this month.
The DPP also targeted President Ma Ying-jeou during the run-up to the March 22 presidential election.
Responding to the DPP's doubts, Ma admitted that he obtained a U.S. green card while studying in the United States in the 1970s. He noted, however, that he has used a U.S. tourist visa instead of his green card to enter the United States since the mid-1980s, a move he said is equal to renouncing his permanent resident status.