Taiwan plans to protest China's 'national security law' at meet

Taiwan plans to protest China's 'national security law' at meet
The unexpected turn of events augments Mr Xi's image as a man of surprises and possibilities, which could be his most lethal tool.

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairman Andrew Hsia yesterday stated that the government would protest the wording of a draft law proposed by China's rubberstamp lawmaking body when the two sides meet on the offshore island of Kinmen later this month for scheduled talks.

Hsia was questioned by People First Party Legislator Chen Yi-chieh during the Legislative Yuan's weekly Internal Administration Committee regarding the "National Security Law" which is undergoing revision in China's National People's Congress (NPC).

When asked if the MAC would respond to China's legislation, Hsia stated that China could not use unilateral means to change the fact that "we are a sovereign nation." He added such moves by China to enact the legislation would damage cross-strait ties, and that he would protest the matter when both sides meet.

Article 11 of the proposed law states that: "the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China cannot be divided. Maintenance of national sovereignty and territorial integrity is a shared obligation of all the Chinese people, including compatriots from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan."

The draft law, which could be passed in the spring of 2016, replaces a previous counterespionage law and is viewed by experts as Chinese leader Xi Jinping's move to tighten control over domestic and international security issues.

The Chinese government created the new National Security Commission in 2014, which is chaired by Xi, in order to have control over policy coordination on security matters which had institutional autonomy during the leadership of former leader Hu Jintao.

The inclusion of Taiwan with China's Special Administration Regions of Hong Kong and Macau mirror previous practices of using its domestic legal machinery to bolster territorial claims.

Hsia also confirmed during the briefing that the bilateral meeting between the MAC and its mainland Chinese counterpart the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) would be held before May 29.

The proposed agenda of the meeting, which has been in the works for months and will involve Hsia and TAO head Zhang Zhijun, includes aviation safety, the co-establishment of representative offices and a trade-in-goods pact.

The meeting between the MAC and TAO was postponed when Beijing unilaterally declared new civil aviation flight routes in the Taiwan Strait in January, which Taipei protested.

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