The New Power Party (NPP) caucus yesterday said it would propose legal amendments to counter China’s new residency cards for Taiwanese and would draft a bill to ease restrictions on holding a national referendum.
The party would push for the passage of 40 bills and amendments in the coming legislative session, NPP Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) told a news conference, adding that 10 of the bills would be new proposals.
The party would propose amendments to the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), as Beijing’s new residency cards for residents of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau have severe repercussions for Taiwan’s national sovereignty and the rights of Taiwanese, NPP Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said.
“The unilateral move by Beijing forces Taiwanese to apply with Chinese authorities for household registration to receive the residency card,” he said. “It is a ‘united front’ ploy by Beijing to undermine Taiwan’s national sovereignty and to deceive the world that Taiwan is under Chinese administration.”
“The government needs to fight this with countermeasures. The NPP will seek to amend the act to require Taiwanese who have applied for the Chinese residency card to report their conduct and to suspend or cancel their household registration” in Taiwan, Hsu added.
Beijing’s move seeks to circumvent Article 9-1 of the act, which stipulates that “the people of Taiwan Area may not have household registration in the Mainland Area or hold passports issued by the Mainland Area.”
“The amendment is a priority for the upcoming legislative session, because the Mainland Affairs Council has reacted to [China’s move] feebly. The government needs to react more strongly,” Hsu said.
Other proposals on the party’s agenda include amendments to the Referendum Act (公民投票法), the National Security Act (國家安全法), the Classified National Security Information Protection Act (國家機密保護法) and the Judges Act (法官法), which would seek to remove unsuitable judges and prosecutors who have broken the law, Huang said.
The party is also to propose a bill to institute a jury system for criminal prosecution.
NPP Legislator Kawlo Iyun Pacidal said she would lead the drive for legal amendments to protect the rights of the nation’s Aborigines, such as by changing the Mining Act (礦業法) to require mining companies to obtain the consent of communities near mining areas and to conduct an environmental impact assessment before starting operations.
She said she would also push for the passage of a proposed indigenous autonomy act; an indigenous traditional land and marine territory act; an indigenous traditional knowledge and biodiversity protection act; and an indigenous health act.
NPP Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) said he would press for the passage of a proposed national languages development act, “so that people can speak their mother tongues and promote the nation’s major languages without discrimination, whether they be Mandarin, Hoklo [commonly known as Taiwanese], Hakka or Aboriginal languages.”
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