The chairman and vice chairman of the Taiwan People’s Communist Party (TPCP), Lin Te-wang and Cheng Chien-hsin, were indicted on charges of receiving financial support from China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) to influence Taiwan’s elections. Prosecutors said Lin was expelled from Taiwan’s Kuomintang party (KMT) in 2016, lost an election, then formed the TPCP in 2017 and served as its chairman. Since then, Lin has contacted TAO officials and led delegations to China to develop ties. In 2018, a TAO official instructed Lin to run for office and nominated Cheng as well. During their campaigns, they received funding from the TAO. The TPCP has also protested visits by U.S. officials. Prosecutors said the TPCP has become an agent of China, using intimidation to influence Taiwan’s sovereignty and democracy.
Analysts say this incident shows China’s sophisticated infiltration model of using small parties to influence specific groups so as to achieve the effect of “encircling the city from the countryside.” The lack of awareness by Taiwanese people is also a problem, with numerous cases of Taiwanese people spying for China.
Prosecutors have indicted Lin and Cheng and recommended harsh sentencing under Taiwan’s Anti-Infiltration Law. Nonetheless, some experts have expressed concern that Taiwan’s legislation is inadequate for this case, with punishments lighter than in other countries — that there is a need for greater consciousness among the public regarding China’s hostile intentions and latent infiltration across all levels of society.
Source: Radio Free Asia, October 3, 2023