The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday urged Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators to halt a review of an anti-infiltration bill, saying that the bill would subject Taiwanese working or studying in China to “thought censorship,” essentially reinstating martial law.
The DPP caucus last month sponsored a motion to allow the bill to advance to a second reading and earlier this month filed a motion to review it on Tuesday next week, which passed with a majority vote.
The DPP’s handling of the proposal breached the procedure for reviewing major bills, as there is no Executive Yuan version of the bill, and the DPP caucus has not scheduled public hearings or a review by the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee, KMT caucus whip William Tseng (曾銘宗) told a news conference.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
The bill defines “external hostiles” as a nation or a group that advocates undermining the Republic of China’s sovereignty through non-peaceful means, which is reminiscent of how the authoritarian government used Article 100 of the Criminal Code against dissidents suspected “attempting” to incite subversion of state power, he said.
If passed, the bill would reinstate martial law and usher in an era of “green terror,” he said, referring to the DPP’s affiliation with the pan-green camp.
The review’s scheduling shows that it is being pushed through before the Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections, KMT Legislator Arthur Chen (陳宜民) said.
Under the bill, any Taiwanese businessperson who is a member of the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland — which is affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party and whose secretary-general is appointed by the Chinese government — could be a target of DPP censorship, Chen added.
Under such circumstances, any Taiwanese businessperson affiliated with the association could face penalties if they return home to vote, he said.
Taiwanese who work or study in China might also be greatly affected, especially as some cross-strait exchanges are sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Education, he said.
KMT Legislator Jason Hsu (許毓仁) echoed Chen’s remarks, saying that the DPP’s campaign had turned uncertain and chaotic since Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) “folded his cards” by asking his supporters to tell polling companies that they support President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
The DPP caucus has “neutered” the Mainland Affairs Council with the bill, as council Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) has not yet said a word about it, Hsu added.
He urged the DPP to have Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) indicted before passing the bill, as the interior minister in September reportedly had a closed-door meeting with the Reverend Peter Koon (管浩鳴), a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, about Hong Kong murder suspect Chan Tong-kai (陳同佳).
DPP caucus director-general Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) denied that the bill would subject people to thought censorship, saying that its provisions seek to crack down on “actions” — such as accepting political donations, disrupting a peaceful rally or launching a referendum drive — conducted on the instructions of an infiltration source and thus compromising the nation’s democracy.
Even if a Taiwanese businessperson is affiliated with the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland, they would not face penalties if they have not committed infractions at the behest of an infiltration source, he said.
The KMT during the previous legislative session boycotted legislative efforts to pass the “five acts of nation security” and has opposed all nine versions of the infiltration bill, he added.
At a time when “red influence” runs rampant and seeks to use democratic institutions against democracies worldwide — and when nations including the US, the UK and Australia have introduced legislation against external meddling — the KMT should explain why it is boycotting the bill, Lee said.
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