With a new legislative session to begin on Tuesday, some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers are calling for the review of proposed legal amendments to target “agents of the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] in Taiwan” to be put on hold, sources in the party said yesterday.
Those urging that the review be deferred cited the need to campaign for the legislative elections in January, which would leave them with less time to review bills, as well as the sensitive nature of the proposals, as issues related to cross-strait relations are likely to add unknown variables to the elections, the sources said.
DPP lawmakers of this opinion said that the caucus should focus on passing the general budget, while they are split over whether the caucus, which holds the legislative majority, should push through the proposals during the new session, they said.
DPP caucus’ stance on the amendments has gotten pushback internally from members and externally from the Mainland Affairs Council, DPP caucus director-general Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said.
However, the caucus and the council have reached three agreements: rules targeting CCP agents are not to be set in a special law, but by amending 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); the identification of CCP agents is not to involve a registration system; and China-based Taiwanese businesspeople are not viewed as falling within the definition of CCP agents, Lee said.
The caucus is to hold a meeting tomorrow to unify views on the proposed amendment, he added.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had previously said that she hoped the proposed amendment would be passed during the new session to strictly regulate individuals, companies, groups and organizations spreading CCP propaganda, attending CCP-hosted conferences or issuing statements deemed harmful to Taiwan’s sovereignty.
However, defining CCP agents has proven to be a daunting task, one that has sparked concern among Taiwanese businesspeople working in China and generated strong resistance from the pan-blue camp.
The caucus, rather than the Executive Yuan, is at the helm of the planned amendment, but the Cabinet has said that it would respect any decision that the caucus makes.
The new session is expected to be a very busy one, starting with Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) administrative report and followed by a question-and-answer session, the review of a special budget for the procurement of 66 F-16Vs and a review of the nomination of five Central Election Commission members, Lee said.