Status-change for Mongolians may involve Constitution

CNA, Taipei Times, Thursday 28 February 2002, Page 3

TAIPEI—The Cabinet’s decision to alter Mongolia’s status may involve changing the boundaries of the Republic of China’s territorial claims which would need to be done by amending the Taiwanese Constitution, Legislative Yuan President Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday.

The Cabinet on Jan. 31 approved an amendment -- that was proposed by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) -- to the Statutes Governing Relations between the People on Both Sides of the Taiwan Strait, which formally excludes outer Mongolia from the Republic of China’s maps of the Mainland China Area.

The amendment redefined the original regulations that defined mainland China as areas under communist Chinese control, plus Mongolia, by excluding Mongolia.

Accordingly, citizens of Mongolia are now considered by the Taiwanese government to be foreigners entitled to visas, instead of entry permits, when visiting.

Wang subtly hinted at his previous complaint that the Cabinet adopted the changes without notifying the legislature. He said that disputes stemming from the amendment would be mitigated only if the Cabinet showed some respect to the Legislative Yuan.

Defending the Cabinet decision, MAC Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Tuesday that the amendment was meant to bring the law into line with current reality, pointing out that it would now be easier for Taiwan to manage its increasing trade and cultural exchanges with Mongolia.

Chien Shih-ying (錢世英), chief secretary of the Cabinet-level Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission, said the status-change is a pragmatic move because more than 140 nations around the world recognize the sovereignty of Mongolia, which has been independent since 1921.