Taiwan Pushes Anti-Infiltration Bill Ahead of Elections

November 28, 2019 Updated: November 28, 2019

TAIPEI—Taiwan needs to have legal means to prevent China from interfering in its politics, a government spokesman said on Nov. 28 about an anti-infiltration law that’s being drafted.

The legislation is part of a years-long effort to combat what many in Taiwan see as Chinese efforts to influence politics and the democratic process on the island. China claims Taiwan as its territory, to be brought under Beijing’s control by force if necessary.

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party has begun a renewed push for the legislation this week, ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections on Jan. 11.

They say there is extra urgency following allegations from a Chinese asylum seeker in Australia, Wang Liqiang, who told media there he was a spy who had worked to spread Communist Party influence in Hong Kong and meddle in Taiwan politics.

Chiu Chui-cheng, deputy head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, said China’s infiltration and interference in Taiwan was “extremely severe.”

Other democracies take legal steps to stop such activities, and Taiwan must do so too, especially due to “China’s unwillingness to give up on annexing Taiwan, while using Taiwan’s free and open environment to create division within society,” Chiu told reporters.

“We are right at the frontline of external threats and thus have an even more urgent need to strengthen the legal system to safeguard national security and the future of freedom and democracy.”

By Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard