Ex-general’s remarks should cost him his pension: DPP lawmakers

Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers on Monday urged the government to consider revoking the pension of a former Air Force general who recently made comments that were pro-China.


The call came after Hsia Ying-chou (夏瀛洲) said in an interview with China’s state media Global Times published Friday that Beijing has every right to send war warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) as it is part of Chinese territory.


China has sent increasing numbers of military aircraft into the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ over the past year, peaking at nearly 150 over four days in early October, actions that Taiwan has branded as provocations.


DPP legislative caucus whip Liu Shyh-fang (劉世芳) said the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and Veteran Affairs Council (VAC) should consider revoking the pensions of Hsia and other military retirees who sing the same tune as Beijing.


Another DPP legislator, Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應), said prosecutors should launch an investigation into whether Hsia’s controversial comments violated Taiwan’s Anti-Infiltration Act targeted at curbing Chinese influence in its politics.


Tsai also described the MND’s response to Hsia’s comments as “too weak.”


The MND refused to comment on the retired general’s remarks on Sunday, saying only that it will continue to focus on safeguarding national security.


This was not the first time Hsia made pro-China remarks.


During a previous visit to China in 2011 at a gathering of retired generals from China and Taiwan, he said both the Taiwanese and Chinese armed forces are “all China’s military.”


He was also among the retired generals, including Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷) before he became a Kuomintang lawmaker, who went to China in November 2016 to participate in a Sun Yat-sen memorial event hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).


When the Chinese national anthem was played, the Taiwanese generals were caught on video standing up for the anthem, angering many in Taiwan.


Commenting on the same issue Monday, Mainland Affairs Council chief Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) said Hsia’s comments were “unwise and inappropriate” and should be condemned by Taiwan’s people.


He refused to comment, however, on whether Hsia’s pension should be canceled, saying only that the government will make a decision based on existing laws and regulations.


Hsia, 82, a former Air Force pilot, served stints as president of National Defense University and the ROC Air Force Academy before retiring from the military in 2003 after four decades of service.


Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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