In its latest bid to block any spy attempt by China to steal information about ‘core' technologies, Taiwan legislators have sought to pass a bill for harsher punishments in case any such attempt is made.
According to the first draft prepared in this regard, the amendments would increase prison time and fines for people who work with foreign entities to steal information about ‘core' technologies.
Legislators aim to pass three readings of draft amendments to the National Security Act and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area this month.
A proposed bill to amend the National Security Act, which passed a preliminary review on April 7, would prohibit people from helping China, Hong Kong, Macau, foreign countries or overseas hostile forces, or companies, organizations, or people controlled by them, to infringe on the business secrets of the nation's ‘core' technologies.
Offenders under the new law would face five to 12 years in prison or a fine of New Taiwan dollar (NTD) 5 million to NTD 100 million (USD 168,577 to USD 3.37 million).
The amendment would also prohibit people from using and infringing on business secrets of the nation's core technologies in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and foreign countries, adding that offenders could face three to 10 years in prison or a fine of NTD 5 million to NTD 50 million, reported Taipei Times.
To expedite prosecution, the amendment requires that the High Court hear the first instance of cases concerning national security, and the Intellectual Property and Commercial Court hear the first instance of economic espionage cases.
A draft amendment to the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, which passed a preliminary review on March 25, would forbid Chinese businesses or Chinese-funded entities based outside China from engaging in business activities in Taiwan without government approval, reported Taipei Times.
Offenders would face up to three years in prison and fines of up to NTD 15 million, while anyone who allows Chinese-funded businesses to use their name to operate in Taiwan would face fines from NTD 120,000 to NTD 2.5 million, the draft amendment said.
Under the bill, legal persons, groups, and members of entities commissioned, subsidized, or invested to a certain extent by government agencies to engage in businesses involving the nation's core technologies would need government approval to travel to China, reported Taipei Times.
The requirement would remain for three years after the commission, subsidy, or investment ends, or three years after the person has left their position, and offenders could face fines of NTD 2 million to NTD 10 million, it said.