Taipei: The bill President Tsai Ing-wen had presented in the Taiwanese parliament against the increasing Chinese influence and lobbyists running pro-Chinese policies was approved. The law has received approval at a time when presidential elections in Taiwan are only two weeks away. However, the Taiwanese opposition party Kuomintang (KMT) objected and severely criticised the bill.
Last month, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen presented a critical proposal in the parliament. To stop the rising Chinese influence on Taiwan given the developments in Hong Kong, President Tsai tabled the Anti-Infiltration Bill. President Tsai claimed that the law would help lessen the influence of the pro-Chinese groups.
The Taiwanese parliament passed the legislation on Thursday. The lawmakers from the KMT party, which were opposed to the bill, remained absent during the vote. The draft of the bill Tsai had presented was therefore adopted unopposed. The law provides for taking strict action against any interference in Taiwan from foreign soldiers or groups. Influencing the political, military and social circles, funding political parties, disturbing the social system and dissemination of fake news on elections, have become criminal acts hereon.
Those found guilty of such crimes will face five years of imprisonment and a fine of $300,000 or more. The law thus delivers a significant blow to the pro-Chinese groups in Taiwan. The repercussions of the move will be felt in the upcoming Presidential elections, the KMT warned.
General elections will be held in Taiwan on the 11th of January this year, and President Tsai has accused China of being desperate to influence the elections and swallow Taiwan, just like Hong Kong. Tsai asserted the legislation was therefore crucial.
Taiwan’s military chief killed in a helicopter crash
Gen. Shen Yi-ming, the Taiwan military’s chief of general staff, and 7 others died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash. The crash is believed to have occurred due to a technical fault in the US helicopter. Nevertheless, a few Taiwanese news agencies suspect China’s involvement in General Shen Yi-ming’s death, a China-sceptic and strong backer of President Tsai. After receiving the report of General Shen Yi-ming’s chopper crash, President Tsai cancelled all the scheduled rallies and campaign activities for three days.
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