Taipei Times: Cross-caucus talks on ‘infiltration’ bill achieve little

Article 1 of the draft legislation reads: “This act was drafted to prevent intervention and infiltration by external hostile forces to ensure national and social security, as well as to uphold the nation’s sovereignty and democratic and constitutional institutions.”

People First Party caucus whip Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) asked why the article says: “external hostile forces,” instead of “external forces.”

The US and Japan are not hostile, but could also pose threats to the nation in terms of commerce, as could the Philippines, whose forces in 2013 fired on a Taiwanese fishing vessel, he said.

Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said that the countries Lee mentioned do not plan to infiltrate Taiwan; undermine its democratic and constitutional institutions; engage in a military confrontation with the nation; seek to eliminate it by force; or endanger its sovereignty through non-peaceful means, and are therefore not the subjects of the bill.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus said that “the nation’s sovereignty” should be changed to “the sovereignty of the Republic of China.”

The DPP caucus then proposed altering Article 2, which includes groups, organizations and agencies “supervised by” the government, affiliated organizations or any intermediary of an external hostile force.

The wording “supervised by” should be removed, as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) assigns “secretaries” at larger Chinese firms, some of which hire Taiwanese, but that does not mean those Taiwanese help the CCP infiltrate Taiwan, DPP caucus director-general Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) said.

The KMT caucus filed two motions to amend the article.

One sought to change the wording “nations or groups that advocate compromising the nation’s sovereignty through non-peaceful means” to “nations or groups that resort to violence or coercion and have carried out actions compromising the nation’s sovereignty.”

The other recommended the inclusion of a requirement that the Executive Yuan regularly publish “sources of infiltration,” as otherwise the public would not know which groups or organizations to avoid.

New Power Party Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said that the wording “resorts to violence or coercion” is redundant, as that falls under the original phrasing: “non-peaceful means.”

Kuan objected to the proposal that the Cabinet publish sources of infiltration, saying that as the bill does not give any relevant agencies a blank check, the requirement could give the Executive Yuan undue power.

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