Mon, Nov 25, 2019 - Page 1 News List

DPP to introduce anti-infiltration bill

CHINESE MEDDLING:The bill seeks to increase penalties for working on behalf of foreign states, and the KMT said it would determine its stance after reading the draft

By Chung Li-hua  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming, second left, speaks with Legislative Yuan Secretary-General Lin Chi-chia, third left, as Legislative Speaker Su Chia-chyuan, right, oversees a legislative review at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on Nov. 15.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus is ready to unveil a draft anti-infiltration law today, caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday, adding that the goal is to have the bill clear a second reading on Friday.

Concerns about Beijing’s attempts to annex Taiwan and reports about a self-confessed Chinese spy saying that he had been tasked with influencing elections in Taiwan show that an anti-infiltration law is needed, Ker said.

Following discussions with the Ministry of Justice, Mainland Affairs Council and Executive Yuan, the DPP on Friday devised the core of the bill and would reveal its details at a news conference today, he said.

The bill would be submitted to the legislature’s Procedure Committee for review tomorrow, he added.

On Thursday, the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee is to hold a public hearing on a series of proposed draft amendments to crack down on Chinese proxies promoting Beijing’s interests in Taiwan, Ker said.

The hearing would provide an opportunity to exchange opinions on the anti-infiltration bill before legislators meet on Friday for its second reading, he said.

On whether the bill could clear a third reading before the end of the legislative session, Ker said it depends on “the attitude of opposition parties.”

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip William Tseng (曾銘宗) said his caucus would determine its stance on the bill after reading the document.

The KMT would consider whether the bill is indeed necessary to ensure national security and stability, he added.

The bill would ban people from lobbying for a political cause, making political donations, interfering with assemblies, undermining social order or engaging in other activities that could influence local elections and referendums based on instructions, or using funds, from a foreign state or organization.

Those found guilty of influencing elections in such manners could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison in addition to a fine of up to NT$5 million (US$163,843), according to the bill.

If an organization is found guilty, the person in charge would be held responsible, it states.

Although a number of laws — including the Political Donations Act (政治獻金法), the Referendum Act (公民投票法), the Lobbying Act (遊說法) and the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法) — already ban such activities, the proposed bill would increase the punishments.

While the New Power Party (NPP) has accused the DPP of deliberately setting aside the bill and related proposed amendments, DPP lawmakers have been working on them since the end of May, Ker said.

On Nov. 16, Ker said that bills to crack down on Chinese Communist Party proxies would not pass a third reading during the current legislative session due to the limited time remaining.

Ker yesterday said there are eight versions of similar bills proposed by the DPP caucus, NPP caucus and a number of DPP legislators.

Incorporating different versions could be difficult and the DPP caucus has been pondering how to best approach the issue, he said.

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