Premier Su Tseng-chang said Thursday that an anti-infiltration bill to prevent hostile foreign forces from influencing Taiwan's political and election systems has its necessities, but that government agencies should step up communications with the public to dispel any doubts or misunderstanding. He asked Taiwanese citizens working or managing businesses in China in particular to set aside their worries, as the legislation will not affect normal cross-strait exchanges.
China's rapid ascent has not only presented a growing threat to Taiwan but also alarmed other nations to the risk of Chinese interference in domestic affairs, the premier said. Major democracies from Australia to the U.K. to the U.S. are all drafting their own legislation to block Chinese infiltration. The threat to Taiwan is particularly salient given its position in the first line of defense against China's outward influence campaign, and so the anti-infiltration bill is especially necessary to safeguard the security and rights of the people of Taiwan.
Executive Yuan Spokesperson Kolas Yotaka, conveying remarks by Council of Mainland Affairs Minister Chen Ming-tong from an earlier Cabinet meeting, said that the anti-infiltration bill was drafted to target criminal behavior (that is, acts of infiltration), rather than to direct punishment at particular persons. And for individuals violating the anti-infiltration law, administrative agencies only have the right to report the offense; there are no administrative penalties, and any punishment is applied only after a rigorous process requiring a final verdict handed down by the nation's highest court.
Premier Su also said at the meeting that the Executive Yuan's stance on the anti-infiltration bill proposed by the Legislature is that it should defend national sovereignty, ensure the people's safety, abide by the will of the people. And based on the will of the people, the Executive Yuan will respect the final results of the Legislature's negotiation and review mechanism. Regardless of when the deliberations are completed and whatever the final contents of the bill when approved, the Executive Yuan will respect the Legislature.