The Executive Yuan yesterday approved amendments to toughen sanctions against economic spies working for China or other foreign nations.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a Cabinet meeting that China in the past few years has intensified its “red supply chain” infiltration of industries in Taiwan.
Chinese firms are attracting high-tech talent from Taiwan and stealing “core” technologies, Su said.
Photo: Lee Hsin-fang, Taipei Times
As a result, it is necessary to establish stricter regulations and a more robust national security policy to protect such technologies, he said.
The proposed amendments to the National Security Act (國家安全法) stipulate that anyone who steals Taiwan’s core technologies or trade secrets to give them to China or other hostile foreign forces would face five to 12 years in prison, and be fined NT$50 million to NT$100 million (US$1.79 million to US$3.59 million).
Those who give their own trade secrets of Taiwan’s core technologies to China, including Hong Kong and Macau, or other foreign jurisdictions would face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to NT$50 million, the proposed amendments say.
Draft amendments to the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例) say that individuals or members of organizations that receive government subsidies for work on national core technologies must report to the government and secure approval if they want to travel to China less than three years after working on government-sponsored projects.
Such people who travel to China without securing prior approval would face a fine of up to NT$10 million, the draft amendments say.
The proposed changes to the National Security Act are necessary, as they offer two more layers of protection to prevent Taiwan’s core technologies from being illegally obtained by foreign hostile forces, complimenting protections in the Trade Secrets Act (營業秘密法), the Ministry of Justice said.
The Intellectual Property and Commercial Court and the Taiwan High Court are to have jurisdiction over cases of economic spying and extraterritorial use of core technologies, the ministry said.
Department of Prosecutorial Affairs Director-General Lin Jinn-tsun (林錦村) said that core technologies are those that are regulated by the government to uphold national defense and the safety of key infrastructure.
They also include leading technologies that have the potential to greatly elevate Taiwan’s global competitiveness, Lin said.
A list of core technologies is to be announced by the Executive Yuan, he said.
The proposed amendments need to be approved by the Legislative Yuan and promulgated by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) before they take effect.
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