Pan-blue draft amendments to the Statute Governing Relations between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and Mainland Area (
Long a flashpoint between ruling and opposition party lawmakers, the statute governs a sweeping array of cross-strait links, from trade, investment and tourism to immigration.
A separate pan-blue draft amendment to the statute seeking to lift restrictions on the transfer of sensitive technologies from Taiwan to China, sparked a near brawl in the legislature last Friday, as pan-green lawmakers forced the Home and Nations Committee to adjourn prematurely.
Faced with equally controversial amendments yesterday, pan-green lawmakers again engaged their opposition colleagues in bickering so intense that the committee was forced to adjourn in the morning despite what was scheduled to be an all-day meeting on Chinese immigration.
"This is a bill by the Chinese for the Chinese!" shouted Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Chien-huei (黃劍輝).
Sponsored by 50 pan-blue lawmakers, an amendment to Article 70 of the statute drafted by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Diane Lee (
Lee's bill would fast-track Chinese immigrants' residency applications over other immigrants, whose application for residency can require up to eight years, critics said.
KMT Legislator John Wu (
Sponsored by 34 pan-blue lawmakers, the proposed amendment would pave the way for Chinese immigrants to become civil servants immediately after obtaining permanent residency.
If passed, pan-green lawmakers said, the bills would allow Chinese to be employed by the government within just five years of arriving.
Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Chen Ming-tong (
There are now 290,000 Chinese spouses in the country.
The National Security Bureau (NSB) has other concerns about the proposals. Senior bureau officials worry that the bills could lead to an influx of Chinese spies eager to gain employment in a wide array of government agencies, an anonymous official was quoted as saying in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister newspaper) yesterday.
In April, the US weekly Defense News quoted former vice minister of defense Lin Chong-pin (林中斌) as saying that more than 5,000 spies are now in Taiwan.
NSB Deputy Secretary-General Wang Hsi-tien (
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
PILLAGING PENGHU: A 7,539-tonne Chinese ship found mining sand in the Formosa Banks area was escorted by several CGA ships to a Kaohsiung harbor The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday announced that it had dispatched ships to intercept Chinese dredging vessels operating in the nation’s territorial waters near Penghu and detained 10 crew members, who were transported to Kaohsiung. A coast guard patrol discovered more than 20 dredging vessels in an area known as the Formosa Banks, 46 nautical miles (85km) southwest of Penghu County’s Cimei islet (七美) at about 5am on Wednesday. The agency responded by dispatching two patrol boats, the 3,000-tonne Kaohsiung and the 500-tonne Penghu, along with two frigates, to intercept the Chinese vessels, while an airborne observation unit was used to monitor
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
Passengers arriving at Taoyuan International Airport will find that most entrances to both terminals have been sealed off as part of its COVID-19 prevention efforts. Follow the signs and directions posted on the doors to find the nearest entry point. The airport has installed infrared cameras and thermometer guns at all open entrances, and all persons with a temperature of over 37.5 degrees Celsius are prohibited from entering the terminal. In addition, staff will take the temperature of those checking in to their flights in advance at Airport MRT stations A1 and A3. In accordance with the Centers of Disease