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.
The US Department of State yesterday criticized Beijing over its misrepresentation of the US’ “one China” policy in the latest diplomatic salvo between the two countries over a bid by Taiwan to regain its observer status at the World Health Assembly, the decisionmaking body of the WHO. “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to publicly misrepresent U.S. policy,” Department of State spokesman Ned Price wrote on Twitter. “The United States does not subscribe to the PRC’s ‘one China principle’ — we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Joint Communiques, and
FATES LINKED: The US president said that sanctions on Russia over Ukraine must exact a ‘long-term price,’ because otherwise ‘what signal does that send to China?’ US President Joe Biden yesterday vowed that US forces would defend Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese attack in his strongest statement to date on the issue. Beijing is already “flirting with danger,” Biden said following talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, in which the pair agreed to monitor Chinese naval activity and joint Chinese-Russian exercises. Asked if Washington was willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, he replied: “Yes.” “That’s the commitment we made,” Biden said. “We agreed with the ‘one China’ policy, we signed on to it ... but the idea that it can be
‘TOO RESTRICTIVE’: Ending US sales of weapons that do not fall under the category of ‘asymmetric’ would hamper Taiwan’s defense against China, two business groups said Taiwan’s weapons procurement decisions are made based on its needs, and are not influenced by individual arms dealers, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said yesterday after two US business groups questioned a US official’s comment on arms sales to Taiwan. US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Security Mira Resnick told the business groups via video link on Saturday that Washington would adjust the types of weapons sold to Taiwan and end “most arms sales to Taiwan that do not fall under the category of ‘asymmetric.’” The American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan and the US-Taiwan Business Council on Monday
Local COVID-19 cases are expected to continue rising in the upcoming week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported a record-high 85,310 new domestic cases and 41 deaths. Daily case numbers had remained in the 60,000s for the past six days before surging about 30 percent yesterday, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, said the number of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests conducted on Tuesday also marked a record-high of 112,915, with a