A dedicated legal system and enhanced training for judges are needed to deal with Chinese espionage and other cases that threaten to subvert Taiwan’s national security, World United Formosans for Independence chairman Chen Nan-tien (陳南天) said in a news briefing yesterday.
“The main threat to Taiwan’s survival as a country is China and its People’s Liberation Army,” Chen said. “Chinese leaders have vowed to annex Taiwan and they threaten total destruction.”
“Right now, the big problem is that some sectors of society embrace China as a friend rather than seeing it as the enemy,” he said. “Many people are not aware that we face serious danger that Taiwan’s sovereignty and national security will be undermined.”
Beijing has sent warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone on a daily basis, a military threat that has destabilized the regional security situation, Chen said. “There are also cases of Chinese espionage, but most end with lenient punishments, or even no prosecution at all.”
“If judges do not understand how severe national security issues are and how detrimental these cases are to society, then there will be a greater increase of Taiwanese officials spying or selling secrets to China,” he said.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) said that from 2015 to September last year, the judiciary dealt with 222 cases of Chinese espionage.
“Among these breaches of the National Security Act (國家安全法), only 19 resulted in jail terms of six months or more,” Kuan said, citing a case against New Party spokesman Wang Ping-chung (王炳忠) and other party members accused of setting up a spy ring for China.
The five suspects were acquitted by the Taipei District Court in April.
Kuan vowed to scrutinize demands that the judiciary and the legislature establish a separate, dedicated legal system to investigate and adjudicate such cases.
Wang Wen-hong (王文宏), chairman of the 228 Victims Care Association of Taiwan, said that China is a heinous neighbor carrying out “united front” tactics every day.
The leadership in Beijing wants to destroy the democratic system in Taiwan, where people enjoy freedom and respect for human rights, which Chinese do not have at all, Wang Wen-hong said.
“China uses money and sexual favors to entrap men to cultivate pro-China forces in Taiwan, who spy for their Chinese masters,” he said. “They are covert agents who corrupt Taiwanese politics and society from within, subverting our democracy in collusion with China.”
The groups made recommendations for the legislature and the judiciary to implement, starting with setting up a dedicated legal system to handle national security cases.
Such cases should be handled by senior judges with expertise in foreign affairs, international politics, and military and new technology issues, the groups said.
The legislature should amend laws to allow enhanced judicial mechanisms and investigations, they said, adding that more severe punishments should be handed out for those convicted of spying for China.
Government and military officials, active and retired, who are convicted of crimes that caused severe damage to national security must be given even harsher punishments, they said.
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