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May 29, 2017

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Retired generals to attend Whampoa's anniversary on mainland: lawmaker

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Chinese authorities have invited retired Taiwanese generals to attend the 90th anniversary of the Whampoa Military Academy (黃埔軍校) in China this year, an opposition lawmaker said yesterday.

Many Taiwanese retired generals have accepted the invitation and will be joining the event to be held in Guangzhou province (廣州省), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsueh Ling (薛凌) said yesterday during a question-and-answer session in the Legislative Yuan.

She continued that some retired senior military officers have already attended preparation meetings for the event on the other side of the Taiwan Strait.

The DPP lawmaker called the move "inappropriate" and urged the Veterans Affairs Commission (VAC, 退輔會) to better control these retired generals.

Hsueh added that there are currently more than 120 retired generals living and doing business in China.

Though the move does not break existing laws, she questioned the behavior of these retired Taiwanese military personnel since Beijing still poses a major threat to Taipei.

In response, VAC Minister Tung Hsiang-lung (董翔龍), who fielded questions during the same session yesterday, said there are nearly 3,000 retired R.O.C. generals in total.

The VAC has no authority to question the schedule of these retired generals because they are no longer military personnel but civilians, he noted.

The Whampoa Military Academy was established by the Kuomintang (KMT) government in China's Guangzhou province in 1924.

The R.O.C.-recognized school relocated to Kaohsiung in Southern Taiwan in 1950 and was renamed the R.O.C. Military Academy after the R.O.C forces and KMT government relocated to Taiwan following the Chinese civil war.

VAC Joins Hands with Din Tai Fung

Meanwhile, making his report at the legislative session, Tung said his commission has been launching a series of measures to help veterans make successful transitions from military service to the working world.

The VAC has paid visits to many local businesses and has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with 47 of them to encourage these businesses to hire eligible unemployed veterans.

Two of the major companies the VAC will be working with are Taiwan's famous restaurant chain Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐) that is known for its steamed pork dumplings and Lion Travel Service Co. Ltd. (雄獅旅行社), one of the nation's leading travel agencies, according to the VAC.

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