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Is China meddling in Taiwan’s elections?

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“Taiwan’s government accuses China of meddling in elections” is the headline of a piece by longtime Taiwan resident Chris Taylor on Asia Times.

  • “I am here in D.C. to talk about China’s influence on our elections. They are playing the same game, like the Russians in Crimea,” a Taiwanese presidential advisor told Taylor, who notes that his comments “come amid allegations China has been funding fake news and opposition candidates to the governing, pro-independence leaning Democratic Progressive Party.”
  • There are long-held suspicions in Taiwan “that China is far less likely to attempt to invade the island, which would be logistically difficult and could potentially spark a far wider regional conflict, than it is to attempt to buy the island,” says Taylor.
  • “The key to the strategy is two-fold,” according to J Michael Cole, a respected Taiwan commentator cited by Taylor: “First, flooding Taiwan’s economy with Chinese investment and second, ensuring that a greater number of Chinese are in positions of authority on the island.”
  • In October, Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau announced that they were “currently investigating 33 cases of suspected Chinese funding of various candidates in the November 24 elections, with evidence that the money is coming directly from the Chinese government.” According to the bureau, the funds were “funneled to candidates favored by Beijing via Taiwanese business people with operations in China.”

See also: China’s ‘troll factory’ targeting Taiwan with disinformation prior to election on Taiwan News.

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Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.

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