The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus is ready to unveil a draft anti-infiltration law today, caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday, adding that the goal is to have the bill clear a second reading on Friday.
Concerns about Beijing’s attempts to annex Taiwan and reports about a self-confessed Chinese spy saying that he had been tasked with influencing elections in Taiwan show that an anti-infiltration law is needed, Ker said.
Following discussions with the Ministry of Justice, Mainland Affairs Council and Executive Yuan, the DPP on Friday devised the core of the bill and would reveal its details at a news conference today, he said.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
The bill would be submitted to the legislature’s Procedure Committee for review tomorrow, he added.
On Thursday, the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee is to hold a public hearing on a series of proposed draft amendments to crack down on Chinese proxies promoting Beijing’s interests in Taiwan, Ker said.
The hearing would provide an opportunity to exchange opinions on the anti-infiltration bill before legislators meet on Friday for its second reading, he said.
On whether the bill could clear a third reading before the end of the legislative session, Ker said it depends on “the attitude of opposition parties.”
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip William Tseng (曾銘宗) said his caucus would determine its stance on the bill after reading the document.
The KMT would consider whether the bill is indeed necessary to ensure national security and stability, he added.
The bill would ban people from lobbying for a political cause, making political donations, interfering with assemblies, undermining social order or engaging in other activities that could influence local elections and referendums based on instructions, or using funds, from a foreign state or organization.
Those found guilty of influencing elections in such manners could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison in addition to a fine of up to NT$5 million (US$163,843), according to the bill.
If an organization is found guilty, the person in charge would be held responsible, it states.
Although a number of laws — including the Political Donations Act (政治獻金法), the Referendum Act (公民投票法), the Lobbying Act (遊說法) and the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法) — already ban such activities, the proposed bill would increase the punishments.
While the New Power Party (NPP) has accused the DPP of deliberately setting aside the bill and related proposed amendments, DPP lawmakers have been working on them since the end of May, Ker said.
On Nov. 16, Ker said that bills to crack down on Chinese Communist Party proxies would not pass a third reading during the current legislative session due to the limited time remaining.
Ker yesterday said there are eight versions of similar bills proposed by the DPP caucus, NPP caucus and a number of DPP legislators.
Incorporating different versions could be difficult and the DPP caucus has been pondering how to best approach the issue, he said.
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of
GOOD NEWS: Although open civic spaces are shrinking in Asia-Pacific countries and territories, Taiwan’s openness is a positive sign, an expert said Taiwan remains the only country in Asia with an “open” civic space for the fifth consecutive year, the Civicus Monitor said in a report released yesterday. The People Power Under Attack 2023 report named Taiwan as one of only 37 open countries or territories out of 198 globally, and the only one in Asia. Compiled by Civicus — a global alliance of civil society organizations dedicated to bolstering civil action — the ranking compiled annually since 2017 measures the state of freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression around the world. Researchers assign each country or territory one of five rankings describing the
NOT JUST CHIPS: Although semiconductor processes are on the list, it also includes military technology and post-quantum cryptography to combat emerging cyberthreats The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) yesterday released a list of 22 technologies it considers crucial to the nation’s security and competitiveness, including the 14-nanometer semiconductor process and advanced chip packaging. For the first time, the council made a list of core technologies with an aim of preventing secret information about those technologies being leaked to foreign countries, which could put the nation’s security and the competitiveness of local industries at risk. For years, local semiconductor companies have faced challenges from talent poaching and theft of corporate secrets by Chinese competitors, who are seeking to rapidly advance their technology capabilities through