The New Power Party (NPP) legislative caucus yesterday listed 28 bills and amendments that it aims to help pass during the new legislative session, adding that it would focus on a “vacant home tax act” and amendments to laws governing investment from China.
Legislators need to review the draft of the vacant home tax act, which is backed by the Democratic Progressive Party, NPP caucus whip Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said.
Taiwan had 1.66 million vacant homes last year, up from 1.23 million in 2000, Chiu said, citing Ministry of the Interior data.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
However, the Cathay Housing Index stood at 129.45 in the second quarter of this year, up from 67.76 in 2000, meaning that housing prices have continued to rise despite the increase in empty homes, he added.
The government estimates that the nation has 876,000 rental houses, seeming to indicate that a considerable number of rental houses remain unaccounted for, Chiu said.
To counter the economic threat from China, the NPP would propose amendments to the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) and the Statute for Investment by Foreign Nationals (外國人投資條例), party chairwoman and deputy caucus whip Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) said.
The party would also propose upgrading the Rules Governing the Organization of the Investment Commission (經濟部投資審議委員會組織規程) to enable the commission to better protect local industries, as well as safeguard the nation and its economy, she said.
“We have seen a rise in funding from China disguised as investments from other countries to avoid scrutiny by the Investment Commission. Unfortunately, the commission closely examines investment cases only after they generate heated public debate, such as the Taipei Twin Towers (台北雙子星) development project and the case involving Taobao Taiwan,” Chen added.
The commission’s review of investments from overseas has yet to meet the standards for a “democratic defense mechanism,” as President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has stated, Chen said.
China’s Tencent Holdings holds a stake in the parent company of e-commerce operator Shopee Taiwan, but the commission allows Shopee to continue operating in Taiwan, she said.
Although Kerry TJ Logistics, which holds about a 60 percent stake in Science Park Logistics Co, formed a partnership with Shenzhen, China-based SF Express, the commission relinquished the authority to require offshore investors to apply to invest in the firm that provides logistical services at the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), she added.
The commission’s negligence also allowed China Cosco Shipping Corp — which is controlled by China’s State Council — to manage certain piers at the Port of Kaohsiung, while the Ministry of Transportation and Communications considers Cosco’s investment “no big deal,” she said.
“Taiwan is one of the few countries in the world where the government does nothing to stop the invasion of Chinese capital,” she said.
Many countries have implemented strict guidelines for reviewing investments from overseas in response to Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” policy, she said, adding that the policy prompts Chinese corporations to “steal key technologies from all over the world.”
NPP Legislator Claire Wang (王婉諭) said that the momentum created by Taiwanese athletes’ outstanding performances at the Tokyo Olympic Games should inspire the government to turn Taiwan into a “sports nation.”
In addition to adding athletes to the “Golden Plan” for the 2024 Paris Games, the government should continue to force sports associations to apply the reforms in a 2017 amendment to the National Sports Act (國民體育法), she said.
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