Taiwan’s election season kicks into high gear, as accusations of China meddling fly

“This week, Taiwan detained two executives at a Hong Kong-listed firm on suspicion of violating national security, Reuters reported. They were detained in Taipei to help with investigations over allegations — by a Chinese asylum seeker in Australia — that China interfered in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The detention of the two men came less than two months before Taiwanese head to the polls with incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen seeking a second term. Her popularity was bolstered amid her increasingly confrontational stance against the Chinese Communist Party as social unrest in Hong Kong dragged on.”

www.cnbc.com/2019/11/28/taiwan-elections-2020-chinas-influence-as-january-polls-loom.html

“A story about a 26-year-old Chinese man claiming to have been involved in Beijing’s spying activities was causing a frenzy.

The man, who appeared on Australian media over the weekend, has provided Australian intelligence with unprecedented details of China’s alleged political interference in the outside world and is seeking asylum.

Included in the allegations was a confession that he, the self-proclaimed spy Wang “William” Liqiang, had been part of operations to interfere in Taiwan’s local elections last autumn. That was the election in which President Tsai Ing-wen’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, or DPP, suffered a devastating defeat.”

asia.nikkei.com/Editor-s-Picks/China-up-close/China-spy-spills-secrets-that-rattle-Taiwan-and-Hong-Kong

“Nonetheless, the points raised so far only signal that Beijing has a timetable in mind to unify Taiwan with China, but they do not explain why the PLA could move to take Taiwan by force in 2020.

A combination of factors could point to a military confrontation.”

www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/2126541/china-planning-take-taiwan-force-2020

“Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a news briefing on a defense white paper, the first like it in several years to outline the military’s strategic concerns, that China would make its greatest effort for peaceful reunification with Taiwan.

“However, we must firmly point out that seeking Taiwan independence is a dead end,” Wu said.

“If there are people who dare to try to split Taiwan from the country, China’s military will be ready to go to war to firmly safeguard national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity,” he said.”

www.pri.org/stories/2019-07-24/china-warns-war-case-move-toward-taiwan-independence

 

 

AC