A plan to increase fines for Taiwanese who work for political organizations in China advanced at the legislature in Taipei yesterday, when a draft amendment 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) passed its first reading.
The draft was proposed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Michelle Lin (林楚茵) after Chang Ching-yi (張經義) — a Taiwanese reporter who works for a Chinese state-run agency — on April 9 did not tell a White House news conference about his company, instead saying: “I am from Taiwan” during his question time with US President Donald Trump.
Chang is a Taiwanese-born employee at Shanghai Media Group (上海文化廣播影視集團), a state-owned mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times
Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) on Thursday said Chang broke the law and could be fined between NT$100,000 and NT$500,000 (US$3,322 and US$16,610).
Article 33 of the act states that “any individual, juristic person, organization, or other institution of the Taiwan Area shall not hold any position or become any member of the agencies, institutions or organizations of the Mainland Area which are political parties, the military, the administration or of any political nature and which are prohibited with public notices by the Mainland Affairs Council, Executive Yuan in consultation with each competent authorities concerned.”
The amendment would boost the maximum fine to NT$1 million.
China has used multiple means to “buy off” Taiwanese, having them hired at Chinese organizations and agencies of a political nature, Lin said yesterday, adding that a maximum fine of NT$500,000 was too small to be a deterrent.
Separately yesterday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Yeh Yu-lan (葉毓蘭) protested the decision to pass the amendment, saying that all Chinese media firms have state-ownership backgrounds, so the change to the law would in effect be a ban on Taiwanese working for any Chinese media firm.
It is a restriction of people’s right to work, an extremely unwise move in Taiwan, which advocates freedom of speech, Yeh said.
KMT Legislator Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) called on the DPP government not to oppose everything China-related.
Chang, who grew up in Yunlin County and has the chance to ask the US president questions, should be applauded, Hung said.
MEDIGEN: The vaccine must also be reviewed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices before it is added to the national vaccination program An emergency use authorization (EUA) for Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp’s (高端疫苗) COVID-19 vaccine — MVC-COV1901 — for people aged 20 and older was issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said a specialists’ meeting was held at the FDA on Sunday to review Medigen’s application to manufacture and distribute its COVID-19 vaccine, and the panel approved it. FDA Director Wu Hsiu-mei (吳秀梅) said the meeting consisted of 21 specialists from the fields of chemistry, manufacturing and controls, pharmacy, toxicology, clinical medicine, public health, law and medical ethics. There were no major concerns over
LAND ALERT UNCERTAIN: The CWB was waiting to observe how In-Fa shifts as it moves north to determine when to issue a land alert, a forecaster at the bureau said Residents of northern Taiwan should brace for heavy rain today and tomorrow as Typhoon In-Fa approaches the northeast, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday. A land alert for the typhoon would be issued depending on the angle at which it moves north today, the bureau said. The bureau on Wednesday issued a sea alert for the typhoon, which applies to ships operating off the nation’s northern, northeastern and southeastern coasts. As of 8:30pm yesterday, In-Fa’s center was 470km southeast of Taipei, moving northwest at 6kph. It was carrying maximum sustained winds of 180kph, and had a radius of 200km. The typhoon was moving
‘BREAKTHROUGH’: All countries should be free to pursue closer ties with Taiwan, a leading democracy, a major economy, and a force for good in the world, the AIT said Taiwan is to establish a “Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania,” the first office in Europe to be called Taiwanese, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday. “It is an important diplomatic breakthrough,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) wrote on Facebook, thanking diplomatic personnel for the significant achievement. To expand the nation’s relations with central and eastern Europe, especially with Baltic nations, the government decided to establish the office in Vilnius, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) told an online news conference. The plan signals progress in Taiwan-Europe relations, as it has been 18 years since the nation last opened an office on the
TARGET RAISED: The CECC said vaccination coverage has reached 24.35%, while Premier Su Tseng-chang said the government hopes for 30% by the end of July The government has signed a contract to buy an additional 36 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, 1 million of which are to be delivered in the fourth quarter, the Executive Yuan announced yesterday, as it updated its vaccination target to 30 percent coverage by the end of the month. The two-year deal with the US company covers “prime series” vaccines and future booster shots to protect against SARS-CoV-2 variants, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) quoted Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) as saying during an Executive Yuan meeting in Taipei. In the two weeks since vaccine registration opened, more than 9.8