Taiwan will have its Presidential election on January 13. The Epoch Times listed nine modes of influence that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been exercising in attempts to force an election outcome favorable to Beijing.
- Xi Jinping and the CCP’s Taiwan Affairs Office have been making veiled threats of war, sending a message to Taiwanese voters. In Xi Jinping’s New Years address on December 26, 2023, Xi Jinping stated that the reunification of Taiwan is “a must” and “historically inevitable.” Chen Binhua, spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, referred to the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Lai Ching-te and Hsiao Mei-chin, as “war instigators.” At the same time, Chen expressed a willingness to cooperate with Hou Youyi, the presidential candidate from Taiwan’s Kuomintang (KMT) party. The CCP’s endorsement of Hou Youyi is clear.
- On January 9th, the CCP launched a satellite using the Long March 2C carrier rocket. The rocket flew over the southern end of Taiwan’s airspace. This served as a reminder to the Taiwanese people that the CCP’s rockets could be overhead at any moment.
- The Chinese military conducted maritime exercises in the East China Sea from January 8 to 9.
- Chinese military aircraft and warships persist in infringing upon Taiwan’s airspace and territorial waters.
- Chinese surveillance balloons over Taiwan – From December 7, 2023 to January 10, 2024, a total of 30 Chinese surveillance balloons flew over the median line of the Taiwan Strait or directly crossed into Taiwan’s airspace.
- Inviting Taiwanese politicians to visit mainland China – Liu Zhaoxuan, the former head of Taiwan’s Executive Yuan (the Taiwanese executive cabinet) during Ma Ying-jeou’s presidency, visited China and met with Wang Huning, a CCP Central Committee’s Politburo Standing Committee member. One day later, Ma Ying-jeou suggested that the KMT and the Taiwan People’s Party join forces and rally behind a single presidential candidate to beat the DPP. Vice Chairman Xia Liyan of the KMT visited mainland China on December 13, 2023; this was his fourth visit to the mainland since the summer of 2023. The CCP has also launched a campaign to invite Taiwan’s local officials and village heads to visit mainland China.
- Beijing has increased economic pressure on Taiwan, recently announcing increased import tariffs on several categories of Taiwanese goods.
- The CCP has provided campaign funds for favored Taiwanese politicians.
- The CCP has utilized online platforms to conduct cognitive warfare and disinformation warfare against Taiwan’s population. Techniques employed “integrate cyber, information, psychological and social engineering attack methods and can operate simultaneously with other physical means to influence the attitudes and behaviors of target individuals or groups to gain an advantage.”
Source: Epoch Times, January 10, 2024