Lawmakers are slated this week to vote on a proposed amendment that would ban high-ranking officials and military officers from attending official events in China that are deemed injurious to Taiwan’s national dignity.
The third reading of proposed amendments to the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) could begin as early as Wednesday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday.
The DPP lawmakers have reached broad agreement over regulatory issues, including property rights, income tax, import excises and returning Taiwanese enterprises, with legal drafts more or less “settled” since June 21, he said.
Photo: Lin Liang-sheng, Taipei Times
However, the draft amendment banning former high-ranking officials from attending Chinese state events is undergoing revision, he said.
In the original proposal, such officials would be allowed to take part in Chinese state events if they have been retired for at least 15 years, but DPP lawmakers feel the restriction is inadequate and should be changed to a lifetime ban, he said.
DPP legislators have achieved “a high degree of consensus” on the issue and the caucus is in the process of incorporating the lifetime ban in the draft, which is being coordinated and finalized with Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), he said.
DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) was responsible for the motion to strike out the 15-year limit, which DPP lawmakers Rosalia Wu (吳思瑤) and Kuo Kuo-wen (郭國文), and Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tung (陳明通) supported.
“There should be no tolerance for behavior that brings disgrace to the country, no matter how long an official has been retired for,” Lee said.
The bill, in its current form, applies restrictions to retired officials with the rank of deputy minister or above, whose work involved defense, national security, foreign affairs or China; and retired officers with the rank of lieutenant general or above.
The proposed amendment to the bill would forbid gestures in honor of symbols representing the Chinese state or the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), or participation in events held by the Chinese government, its leaders, military, intelligence or administrative apparatus, or its political affiliates.
Penalties for contravening the proposed amendment range from the deprivation of a pension or a fine of no more than NT$5 million (US$160,917) for those not receiving a pension.
In a bid to counter Chinese espionage and influence campaigns in Taiwan, DPP lawmakers have passed numerous national security bills, including amendments to the National Security Act (國家安全法) on June 19 that impose a minimum sentence of seven years for Chinese spies and raise the maximum fine for the crime to NT$100 million.
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