TAIPEI (CNA) — The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Thursday defended the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) efforts to introduce a bill that will ban “agents of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)” from undermining Taiwan’s national security and social stability, saying such an endeavor is necessary and should be prioritized.
Speaking at a press conference in Taipei, MAC Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) claimed the CCP has stepped up its united front work and attempts to infiltrate Taiwan since January, when Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) repeated five principles for managing cross-strait affairs and promoting unification.
Beijing has been taking advantage of Taipei’s free, open and democratic society to aggressively conduct a political propaganda campaign through certain Taiwanese groups or individuals, Chiu said.
Taiwan stands on the frontline against threats from the CCP’s “sharp power,” Chiu said. “To counter unconventional united-front tactics employed by the CCP to eliminate the Republic of China (ROC), efforts to … push for legislation that bans CCP agents are legitimate and necessity and should be prioritized.”
Chiu made the remarks days after the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) caucus blasted draft amendments put forward by the DPP caucus to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area in late May, which is being called the “CCP agents” bill.
Under the proposed revisions, Taiwan nationals or groups will be prohibited from carrying out political propaganda that could endanger national security or social stability in collaboration with — or at the behest of — individuals or bodies affiliated with the CCP, its military, administrative, political bodies or their agents.
They are also barred from attending meetings organized by CCP-affiliated agencies and publishing resolutions or statements that could undermine Taiwan’s national security, the bill states.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) pledged on July 5 that the government will prioritize the passage of the “CCP agents” bill in the next legislative session, which starts in September, in an effort to better protect Taiwan’s democracy and freedom.
Several advanced democracies have laws to prevent external forces from infiltrating and dividing their societies, Chiu said, citing the U.S.’ 1938 enactment of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and Australia’s passage of national security and foreign interference laws last year.
“The implementation of laws designed to address the problem of foreign infiltration and foreign agents is a global trend,” he said.
The New Power Party caucus has submitted a draft act to regulate “agents of external hostile forces.” Some DPP lawmakers are also working with the Taiwan Radical Wing to put forward a draft act in the next few months that will require CCP agents to register with the government.
In related news, the National Security Bureau on Thursday urged the public to be more vigilant about being inadvertently influenced by CCP united-front tactics.
The bureau issued the warning after local media reported that dozens of Taiwanese online media platforms on July 9 published an article that is identical to one that appeared earlier in the day on www.taiwan.cn, a news site managed by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office.
By Stacy Hsu