Taiwanese media, citing a Chinese media report quoting PLA Major General Luo Yuan (羅援), said a Taiwanese speaker recently told a gathering of retired generals from both sides of the Strait in China: “From now on, we should no longer separate the ROC Army and the PLA. We are all China’s army.”Read it carefully: does the MND specifically say that the comments were not made? Nope, the way I read it, the MND is not denying that the comments were made, just denying that the general was speaking with official authority. Looks like the general did indeed engage in a bit of Chinese nationalist harrumphing. ADDED: President Ma condemned the alleged remarks.
The report identified the speaker as former ROC Air Force General Hsia Ying-chou (夏瀛洲).
The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday issued a statement saying it had checked with Hsia, who said the media report was “not factual.”
The statement said the ministry had never authorized any group or individual to discuss, exchange views or speak with China on its behalf, adding that any comments made by individuals were said in a “private” capacity.
Letters from Taiwan rounded up some previous instances of military officer visits to
2011 - Nineteen retired Taiwanese intelligence officials last month visited late General Tai Li’s (戴笠) hometown in Jiangshan City (江山市), Zhejiang Province, China, reports said yesterday. The Chinese-language China Times reported that former National Security Bureau chief accountant Lieutenant General Hsu Ping-chiang (徐炳強) and former Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) official Major General Huang Chi-mei (黃其梅) led 17 retired MIB officials on a visit to Tai’s hometown — the first time former Taiwanese intelligence officials paid a formal visit to China. Tai is known as the father of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) infamous intelligence apparatus during the Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) presidency.Not only is this habit of retired military officers breaking bread with their Chinese counterparts a problem for Taiwan's military and its democracy, but it has also attracted the worry of the US. These exchanges are one reason the US is reluctant to sell Taiwan its best military gear.
How bad is the problem? The public exchanges of groups of officers that make it into the press don't really get to the heart of the matter. As Lawrence Eyton reported in an excellent and sensitive article on the largely mainlander army and bureaucracy in 2002:
It also follows the release of an alarming statistic by the Ministry of National Defense according to which more than 3,000 former Taiwan military officers are now either doing business or working in "consultancies" in mainland China.Many more have quiet links to China in other ways, through family doing business there. Indeed in a couple of cases ROC military officers claim they were blackmailed into handing over classified info by some PRC threat to family members doing business in China.
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