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August 20, 2017

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300 public servants illegally visit mainland: opposition lawmaker

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- More than 300 public servants, including military personnel and police officers, have illegally traveled to mainland China over the past eight years, an opposition lawmaker said yesterday.

Citing statistics provided by the National Security Bureau (NSB, 國安局), Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) lawmaker Yeh Chin-ling (葉津鈴) said yesterday that a total of 366 public servants have traveled to the other side of the Taiwan Strait illegally since October 2006.

The violators include 22 police officers from the National Police Agency (NPA) and 12 from the Coast Guard Administration (CGA), Yeh said. The list also includes some military personnel, she added.

The Regulations Governing Public Servants and Special Status Personnel from the Taiwan Area Entering the Mainland Area (臺灣地區公務員及特定身分人員進入大陸地區許可辦法) require public servants planning to visit China to obtain approval from the government beforehand, she said.

However, these public servants have violated the regulation and traveled to Beijing without obtaining approval first, posing a potential threat to national security, the TSU lawmaker said at a press conference in Taipei.

Asked to comment, Wang Ming-wu (王敏吾), a section chief for the NPA, admitted that some police officers did violate the rule. The NPA has already handed out punishments to their 22 violators accordingly. Wu added that none of the 22 are senior police officers.

Liu Ching-chung (劉靖中) of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said that the MND has punished its offenders. Most of the violators are part-time staff or desk clerks, and none of them are senior military officers with access to confidential information, Liu added.

According to the Mainland Affairs Council, violators of the Regulations Governing Public Servants and Special Status Personnel from the Taiwan Area Entering the Mainland Area will face a maximum fine of NT$1 million if they are found passing confidential information to Chinese authorities.

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