TAIPEI, (CNA).- The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Wednesday accused Beijing of trying to weaken Taiwan's state sovereignty by issuing new residence permits for Taiwanese living, working and studying in China.
In a statement, the MAC said the initiative is aimed at undermining Taiwan's state sovereignty and altering cross-strait relations, and it urged Taiwanese who have applied for the cards not to enable Chinese authorities in their united-front tactics against Taiwan.
The council also warned Taiwanese of other downsides to China's new residence permits, such as increased taxes and social insurance and compromised privacy protection.
The MAC issued the statement in response to remarks earlier in the day by An Fengshan (安峰山), spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, who said that more than 22,000 Taiwanese had applied for the Chinese residency permits since it was launched on Sept. 1.
The MAC, however, disputed the figure, saying it has been collecting relevant information via different channels, which will serve as reference for drafting future policies.
The new residence permits for Taiwanese are different from China's resident identity cards, according to An.
He said the permits will serve as "identity cards" to allow greater convenience for Taiwanese living, working and studying in China and are not linked to any political agenda.
(By Miao Zong-han and Romulo Huang)