Taiwan Parliament Passes Bill to Dissolve Mongolia Tibet Affairs Commission.

November 28, 2017

Member of Taiwanese Parliament Kolas Yotaka, of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at the Five-Fifty Forum, Dharamshala, 8 October 2017. Photo/Tenzin Phende/DIIR

DHARAMSHALA: According to a report filed by the Office of Tibet, Taiwan, the Taiwan Legislative Yuan has today approved a bill to dissolve the Mongolian Tibet Affairs Commission (MTAC).

Ruling Democratic Progressive Party legislator Lee Chun-yi, also a member of the committee for dissolving the commission, said, "As things change with time, our concerns for issues regarding Mongolia and Tibet should have changed course much earlier. What we should do is protect the Mongolian and Tibetan community in Taiwan, and guarantee that Mongolian and Tibetan culture will continue to be respected in Taiwan. Here we ask to disband the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission. The remaining 46 members of the commission will be transferred to the culture ministry and the Mainland Affairs Council, so we can officially dissolve the commission. Let us respect the people of Mongolia and Tibet and their culture. This is what we should do."

Member of Taiwanese Parliament Kolas Yotaka, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who was among the legislators to table the bill attended the Five-Fifty Forum organised by Department of Information and International Relations in October this year. Speaking at the concluding session, MP Kolas reassured the audience that the bill to dissolve the Mongolia Tibetan Affairs Commission will be passed in less than two months time.

Welcoming the historic move, President of Central Tibetan Administration Dr. Lobsang Sangay said, "MTAC has been a sore point and source of misunderstanding between Tibetans and Taiwanese. Personally, I have opposed MTAC since my college days and I am glad to see it shut down."

Members of the Taiwanese Parliament who tabled the bill are Tsai Yi-Yu, Chen Chi-Mai, Xu Guoyong, Kolas Yotaka and Lai Jui-lung. The bill won with a majority of 65 votes against 30.

On 14 August, the Taiwan Executive Yuan announced that the MTAC would be dissolved by the end of the year. It was also disclosed that no budget would be allocated to the MTAC for 2018.

Originally set up as a bureau under the interior ministry of Taiwan, the commission was renamed to MTAC in 1929 in accordance with the Nationalist Government Organizational Law. The founding of the MTAC can be traced back to the Qing dynasty in 1636, when it was founded as the Mongolian Bureau.