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NIA continues search for 'missing' Chinese nationals

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's government has maintained its efforts to locate Chinese nationals who entered Taiwan legally but are now listed as undocumented because their whereabouts are unknown, a National Security Bureau official said yesterday.

The government has always paid great attention to the issue because these people could be engaging in illegal activities in Taiwan and may pose a threat to the country's security, said Hung Yung-jui, a section chief from the bureau.

He was responding to doubts raised by a group of opposition Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislators, led by Yeh Chin-lin, regarding the government's border control measures.

Without identifying their source, the legislators said that since 1988, a total of 2,768 Chinese nationals have overstayed their permits to visit Taiwan, while 2,327 others are unaccounted for.

The legislators also accused the National Immigration Agency (NIA) of deliberately underreporting the numbers, saying that only 303 undocumented Chinese nationals are mentioned on an NIA Web page.

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