Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) proposed an amendment to the National Security Act (國家安全法) to ban activities that promote Taiwan’s unification with China, damage Taiwan’s national identify, or other actions that work in the favor of China, Hong Kong and Macau, or other foreign opposition forces.
The draft amendment includes fines of NT$10,000 to NT$100,000, with fines for displaying the People’s Republic of China flag of up to NT$50,000.
The proposed amendment has so far gathered support from 28 DPP lawmakers and Taiwan Statebuilding Party Legislator Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟).
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
However, a number of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spoke out against the proposal, citing freedom of speech concerns.
There is no law defining China as an enemy, KMT Legislator Chen Yu-jen (陳玉珍) said yesterday, adding that banning the flag would require 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).
It would be more reasonable to ask people not to wave the flag or sing the national anthem of an enemy country, Chen said.
As the DPP holds the legislative majority, amending laws to define China as an enemy would not be hard, she said, adding that “as long as the process is democratic, I will support it.”
Taiwan People’s Party Legislator Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that despite China’s threat to Taiwan, banning its flag would only be possible if a law defines China as an enemy country.
KMT caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said that a draft act must clearly define whether displaying the Chinese flag is covered by freedom of speech or constitutes subversion, adding that the biggest difference between Taiwan and China is that Taiwan is a democracy with freedom of speech.
KMT caucus secretary-general Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) said that the government should not limit freedom of speech, as this would be an “overreach of state power.”
KMT Legislator Lee Guei-min (李貴敏) said that several constitutional interpretations and court rulings have safeguarded the right to any form of expression.
The draft act would imperil the unity of Taiwanese and the sustainable development of the nation, Lee said, adding that provocation should be avoided in the interest of the nation.
Additional reporting by Huang Hsin-po
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