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OCAC National Conference demanded by Taiwan compatriots prior to merger

Research, Development and Evaluation Commission Minister Jiang Yi-huah (first from left) and Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission Minister Wu Ying-y...

Research, Development and Evaluation Commission Minister Jiang Yi-huah (first from left) and Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission Minister Wu Ying-y...

(Taiwan News) – The plan to merge the Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission (OCAC) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has attracted unanimous protest from almost all overseas compatriot groups. Republic of China Senior Journalist Association Deputy Director Lai Lian-jin (賴連金) called on the government to hold an OCAC National Conference before rushing into any decision.

According to the scheme of Cabinet restructuring, the original 37 government agencies will be merged to 28, including 13 ministries and eight commissions.

In the face of mounting disputes, Commission Minister Wu Ying-yih (吳英毅) and Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), minister of the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission that formulated the program, began a ten-day visit last Thursday to six United States cities, including New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and San Francisco, to explain the reformation content.

Wu said in an open letter on March 18 ahead of his departure that the transformed foreign and overseas compatriot affairs ministry will increase the annual budget for compatriot affairs to NT$2 billion from the current NT$1.3 billion and expand service center points, in an attempt to gain support from all compatriots.

Nevertheless, the objections were stronger than expected. New York compatriot groups slammed Wu’s open letter on the 19th, saying Wu “misled” the overseas compatriots and should not voice his recognition before the program is finalized by the Executive Yuan.

Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association in Los Angeles made an announcement last Monday to distance itself from Taiwan government. Other compatriot groups plan to boycott Wu’s visit, publish a harsh open letter, or even lower the flag to half-mast or raise China’s national flag for protests.

Former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) halted the original plan to scrap the OCAC in 2000 after discovering the Commission had played a significant part in trade, culture, and education, according to Lai. The Commission was especially essential in linking worldwide overseas compatriots and businesspersons and in the support for the R.O.C.

Lai said the Commission dealt with affairs concerning 30 million overseas compatriots and any merger or combination is indiscreet. Thus, he urged the government to organize a national conference to offer a platform for government officials to make explanation to the policy and for overseas compatriots to express their opinions.

by Taiwan News, Staff Writer


Updated : 2021-10-16 07:17 GMT+08:00