The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday proposed changing the law to provide protection for those seeking political asylum.
China at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday introduced a draft security law for Hong Kong to ban treason, subversion and sedition, with a review expected next week.
TPP caucus whip Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that the party is concerned about democracy advocates in Hong Kong and has taken action to support them.
The party has proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which stipulates that the government can offer help to residents of Hong Kong and Macau whose security and freedom are endangered due to political factors, Jang said.
However, the article does not clarify what “emergency” and “help” mean, nor is it clear whether people would be granted the right to stay in Taiwan, he said, adding that the Executive Yuan has not formulated supplementary regulations to protect the rights of asylum seekers or review their applications.
The TPP proposal says that people can apply for asylum if they leave Hong Kong or Macau due to war or for reasons related to race, religion, sexual orientation or political opinion, and cannot seek protection in Hong Kong or Macau, or do not want to return there for fear of persecution.
After receiving an application, authorities would convene a review meeting with experts, academics and unbiased members of the public, the TPP draft says.
At least one-third of the committee members should be members of a civic group who have experience promoting human rights, it says.
Jang urged the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee to schedule a meeting to review the draft soon, as this legislative session is to end this month.
If it is reviewed this session, there is a chance that the bill might be passed in a provisional legislative session scheduled to start next month, he said.
Jang called on the Democratic Progressive Party caucus or the Executive Yuan to propose amendments to show that Taiwan wants to help those who are targets of political persecution in Hong Kong and Macau.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chen Yu-jen (陳玉珍), convener of the legislative committee, said that she had not received the TPP’s proposal.
If the TPP caucus shows why its proposal is important, she does not rule out changing the committee’s agenda next week and scheduling a review, Chen said.
Separately yesterday, New Power Party (NPP) Chairman Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said that Beijing’s proposed security law means it has renounced its promise to maintain “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong.
Taiwan cannot be indifferent to the matter, as it is a warning to Taiwan from Beijing, Hsu said.
The Legislative Yuan should review a refugee bill to complete the nation’s support for Hong Kong democracy advocates and prepare a response for refugee issues, he said.
The DPP administration should clarify its strategy and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should condemn Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong, he said.
Hong Kong advocacy groups have repeatedly called on Taiwan to implement a refugee law to allow Hong Kongers to seek asylum here.
On Dec. 5 last year, Tsai said that it was unnecessary to enact a refugee law, as the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau is adequate.
Additional reporting by Su Chin-feng
‘A DISASTER’: A successful Chinese attack on Taiwan would undermine the credibility of US security guarantees and could result in a global depression, three experts wrote A Chinese takeover of Taiwan would be a geopolitical catastrophe for the US and its allies, one that would overshadow almost all others over the next decade, US policy experts said. Andrew Erickson, a professor of strategy in the US Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute; Gabriel Collins, a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy; and former US deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger issued the warning in an article published on Friday in Foreign Affairs. Bejing’s invasion or annexation of Taiwan “would be a disaster of utmost importance to the United States, and I am convinced that
Taiwanese businesspeople’s investments in China last year hit a record low of 11.4 percent of total foreign investment, the Mainland Affairs Council said yesterday. The number was a huge decline from 83.8 percent in 2010, mainly because Taiwanese businesspeople have been diversifying their investments globally over the past few years, with great success, the council said. From 1991 to last year, 45,523 Taiwanese investments in China totaling US$206.37 billion had been approved, accounting for 50.7 percent of overall foreign investment, data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission showed. The amount and proportion of Taiwanese investments in China has been declining, with
Taiwanese tourists on board a Kinmen cruise ship had a scare yesterday when it was intercepted by Chinese coast guards who forcefully boarded the vessel to inspect it. The Sunrise, a tourism ferry that operates between Kinmen and Xiamen, China, was sailing around the waters around the islets of Dadan (大膽) and Erdan (二膽) — both of which are part of Kinmen County — yesterday afternoon when it encountered personnel from China’s Fujian Coast Guard Bureau. China Coast Guard personnel forced their way on board and conducted an inspection for about 30 minutes before leaving, local media cited the tourists as saying. The
SEEKING CALM: The US called for maintaining the ‘status quo,’ while the Ministry of National Defense said it would not bolster defenses in the area to avoid raising tensions Taiwanese should have greater faith in the government’s investigation into the capsizing of a Chinese vessel that resulted in the death of two Chinese fishers last week, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said yesterday, adding that Taiwan abides by the rule of law. On Wednesday last week, a Chinese speedboat was spotted trespassing in “prohibited” waters within 1.1 nautical miles (2km) of the east coast of Kinmen. It fled after refusing the coast guard’s request to board the vessel, setting off a chase that led to the boat capsizing, with two Chinese fishers dying. Two survivors were deported back to China