Mon, Dec 09, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Democracy termites must not be ignored

By Mike Chang 張昭仁

During the current and final legislative session ahead of next month’s elections, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) proposed an anti-infiltration bill to provide systemic protection against Chinese infiltration.

“Infiltration” means that someone is trying to manipulate the country from within. In the past, a democratic country’s respect for national autonomy gave the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) plenty of space to use a nation’s democracy against itself by destroying democratic structures from the inside, like termites.

Australia, for example, welcomed Chinese immigrants 20 years ago, but today, they are dealing with a spy case, and there are constant incidents that run against the national interest in Australia’s political and business circles, as well as in its bureaucracy. Australia’s political parties are finally learning from their mistakes and trying to figure out what went wrong.

The scariest part of the infiltration process is that the infiltrator is in effect using a country’s own money to buy it.

China’s goal is clear: It wants to control national policy and find ways to win an effortless victory and colonize a country. In democracies, its goal is to influence politicians and the media, including traditional and social media.

In traditional media, it uses advertising and requires media outlets to broadcast its material and use hosts it assigns. The goal is to influence opinions and judgement, particularly during election campaigns, so that Beijing’s preferred candidate is elected.

In social media, it establishes Internet companies and enrolls Web writers to attack people it dislikes online and, when deemed necessary, to spread misinformation and direct public opinion. The fake news on social media sites then makes its way to traditional media, setting the direction for public opinion.

Beijing uses political donations to connect with politicians and then demand that they promote major pro-Chinese policies, while also approaching government officials using top-level executives or by offering consultancy fees.

This is how China does it in practice:

First it uses wealthy businesspeople, buying start-ups, recently completed landmark buildings and vineyards. Then it begins socializing with politicians or high-level officials with agents’ purchased status as board directors or owners of luxury buildings, offering political donations or consultancy fees, and asking that these politicians and officials lean toward China when major policies are being passed. This is how China obtained a 99-year lease on Darwin Port in Australia, for example.

The shares of capable start-up companies increase in value as their technological capabilities mature, and as luxury buildings and vineyards are completed and their markets stabilize, value increases by at least 50 percent. Five or 10 years later, when they have succeeded in meeting China’s infiltration goals, they sell the shares or buildings at a profit many times higher than what was paid, thus covering the political donations and advertising expenditures. Internet company payments are only a fraction of these expenses, but they achieve their infiltration goals just the same.

In short, it uses your money to buy your country.

As not every politician or media worker has the nation’s best interests at heart, this is precisely why an infiltration law is necessary, so the government can take a systemic approach to protecting national security and the Taiwanese public’s freedom and livelihood, and avoid being colonized by China.

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