Thu, Jul 03, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet seeks to abolish requisition law left over from China's civil war

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Executive Yuan yesterday agreed to abolish the National Stabilization Law (國家總動員法), which empowered the government to requisition national resources and manpower during the Chinese civil war.

The move requires the approval of the legislature.

Addressing a press conference held after the weekly closed-door Cabinet meeting, Cabinet Spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said that it is necessary to revoke the law, which went into effect in May 1942.

"It's no longer necessary because it was enacted 61 years ago when the Nationalist forces were at war with their Communist counterparts," Lin said. "Because of the implementation of the law, people's individual rights and obligations have long been hampered and violated."

The law became useless in May 1991 when the KMT government announced the end of the Period of Communist Rebellion (動員戡亂時期).

To provide a legal basis for the preparation and implementation of national mobilization, the legislature passed the National Defense and Mobilization Act (全民防衛動員準備法) in 2001.

To prevent legislative redundancy, the Ministry of National Defense had asked the Cabinet to abrogate the National Stabilization Law.

Under the law, the government has the power to requisition any national resources and manpower it requires to strengthen the nation's defenses to fight Communist troops.

National resources covered by the law include military equipment, food, clothing, medical supplies, electricity and fuel, communication devices, transportation systems, and construction resources. Under the law, the government can also manipulate the trading prices and quantities of the designated resources and daily items.

The government can also restrain people's freedom of speech, publication, and gatherings.

To compensate people for any losses resulting from the requisitions, a committee was set up to review such cases.

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