Chinese and Taiwanese flags in Taipei. Photo: Reuters

Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior is reportedly seeking to strip the citizenship of a Taiwanese woman who is now a member of China’s top political consultative body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, after she made a controversial televised speech calling for reunification during the CPPCC’s annual session.

Speaking as a “representative of Taiwan”, CPPCC member Ling Yu-shih, who was born in Taiwan and later emigrated to Hong Kong and worked for the Hong Kong government, said Taiwan’s reunification with China would be irreversible and that Beijing should grant citizenship to all Taiwanese, in an emotionally-stoked speech delivered inside a packed auditorium in the Great Hall of the People on Monday.

“Standing with all of the other CPPCC members in bearing the mission of rejuvenating China, our motherland, I can say that I have managed to escape the narrow ideological confines of Taiwan to embrace the motherland,” she said, stressing that the Chinese Communist Party is the sole legitimate government of all of China.

Ling’s remarks quickly drew Internet ire from fellow Taiwanese.

CPPCC member Ling Yu-shih. Photo: TV screen grab

In 2017, Lu Li-an, a Taiwanese citizen who taught at the Shanghai-based Fudan University, had her Taiwanese citizenship revoked after she declared in a high-profile interview that she had become a CCP member and was a delegate to the party’s 19th congress held that year.

Taiwan’s officials have vowed to impose punitive measures on citizens who join political parties on the mainland, including revoking their citizenship and charging them with treason.

But the self-ruled island is seeing an exodus of youngsters and businesses amid stagnating wages and a tepid economy, with many departees flocking to the mainland.

Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office said at the end of last year that some 150,000 Taiwanese living on the mainland have applied for a new ID card tailor-made for Taiwanese.

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