New restrictions on retired officials going to China

The Cabinet on Thursday passed an amendment to restrictions on retired and resigned military officials of senior rank and political appointees visiting China.

The move came following a controversial trip by a small number of retired senior officials who attended an event presided over by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, in Beijing last November.

The restriction for government and military officials has been changed to at least a three-year period after retirement before making overseas trips. The amendment also places restrictions on people who have retired from national defense, foreign affairs or China affairs positions or from any department related to national security. Such figures may not attend any political or military events in China for a period of 15 years after their retirement.

Mainland Affairs Council minister Katherine Chang explained. This time we require of any significant figure traveling to China that they do not attend any political activities while there. There are close to 1,000 people who may be affected. They are free to visit China for tourism or cultural events as long as they apply for permission. Such situations are not within the restrictions.

The amendment also bans retired senior figures from displaying the Chinese flag or singing the Chinese national anthem if they visit China. This is seen as harming national dignity.

The Cabinet also passed the amendment to the Classified National Security Information Protection Act to ensure that retired or resigned secret agents do not travel to China within three years of leaving their positions.

Source: Radio Taiwan International