Fri, Jul 12, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Bills to defend democracy to be priority

UNDER THREAT:China’s ’united front’ and infiltration tactics are threatening Taiwan’s democratic, free and open society, and are destroying the political order, the MAC said

By Chung Li-hua and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng speaks during a news conference in at the council’s headquarters in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times

The Legislative Yuan is to prioritize review of proposed amendments to four laws during its next session to strengthen Taiwan’s “democracy defense mechanism,” Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said yesterday, after reports that more than 20 Taiwanese online media outlets shared an article criticizing President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) that had been published by a Web site managed by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office.

The “China Taiwan Site” on Tuesday published an article by a reader saying that given how the Tsai administration had “removed” National Taiwan University (NTU) president-elect Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) in such a “poor” and “overbearing” manner, the public would easily remove Tsai next year to end the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) foolish behavior.

The article was republished by Fingermedia (指傳媒), Asia Media (亞傳媒) and Taiwan Diginews (民生報導), among other local outlets.

China has been using “sharp power” in the past few years to infiltrate and divide democratic societies, while the US, Australia and other nations have drafted anti-infiltration and anti-foreign agent laws, among others, in a bid to resist infiltration and division by foreign forces, Chiu said.

After Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) proposed his “five points” in January, the strength of China’s “united front” and infiltration efforts toward Taiwan have been increased, he said.

Taiwan’s democratic, free and open society has been used to confuse and divide the public and destroy the nation’s political order, he added.

As Taiwan is on the front lines facing the threat of China’s “sharp power,” to respond to China’s new “united front” tactics aimed at “eliminating Taiwan,” there is a “legitimate and necessary” rationale to push for laws and regulations that would bar Chinese Communist Party (CCP) agents and related activities, he said.

The Lobbying Act (遊說法), the Political Donations Act (政治獻金法) and the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法) prohibit China from engaging in such activities, but there are no laws regulating such illegal activities performed through “agents,” he said.

The DPP caucus has 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) to address the issue of CCP agents.

The New Power Party’s legislative caucus and others have also proposed draft amendments to address foreign infiltration.

Among the laws targeted for amendment are the Radio and Television Act (廣播電視法), the Cable Radio and Television Act (有線廣播電視法) and the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法), Chiu said.

The council would cooperate with the DPP’s proposed amendments, and it would also support incorporating covering foreign agents into other laws, he added.

The Executive Yuan and the Legislative Yuan would work together to push for legal, constitutional and feasible bills, he said.

As part of the process of drafting proposed amendments, the government would listen to the opinions of academics, experts and other members of society to ensure the normal functioning of the nation’s free and democratic constitutional system and its social economy; defend national sovereignty and security; and protect the people’s basic rights.

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