A civic organization yesterday accused the government of starting a “new White Terror era” after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers passed a slew of national security laws over the past two months.
The amendments to the National Security Act (國家安全法) stipulates a prison sentence of at least seven months for people who are in contact with Chinese communist organizations, Taiwan Area Victims of Political Persecution Mutual Aid Association chairman Lin Yao-chung (林耀呈) told a news conference in Taipei.
The amendments put at risk filmmakers, entertainers, businesspeople, academics or ordinary citizens visiting China, he said, adding that the law is a “White Terror article that terrorizes all Taiwanese.”
Changes made to the definition of treason in the Criminal Code apply broadly to those who collude with the authorities in China, Hong Kong and Macau, and threatens Taiwanese groups or political parties conducting “democratic negotiations” with Beijing with capital punishment, Lin said.
The new treason law severely infringes upon the freedom of thought and speech, and is a potential menace to those who publicly affirm the belief that Taiwan and China should be unified peacefully, he added.
The DPP legislators’ push to draft legislation against “Chinese surrogates” would severely impede exchanges between Taiwanese groups and China, Lin said, adding that the new laws should be abolished.
The group handed a public letter of complaint to the Presidential Office later in the day.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each