Six US senators have asked US government agencies to help Taiwan investigate China’s alleged meddling in its elections and take action to prevent Beijing from interfering in elections in democracies worldwide.
“We appreciate your actions your departments are already taking to address CCP [Chinese Communist Party] foreign interference,” the senators said in a letter addressed to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
“We encourage you to work closely with Taiwan authorities to thoroughly investigate these allegations and, if necessary, take swift action to deter future CCP interference in elections in Taiwan or elsewhere across the globe,” senators Catherine Cortez Masto, Marco Rubio, Christopher Coons, Cory Gardner, Michael Bennet and Ted Cruz said in the letter dated on Thursday last week.
Taipei has suggested that illegal campaign contributions to pro-Beijing political candidates were one of the primary tools of alleged CCP interference in the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections, the letter said.
The Taiwanese government has also accused the CCP of “using disinformation to shape public opinion of political candidates deemed unsympathetic to Beijing’s interests” and has said that “the CCP spread false information through social media and messaging platforms,” it added.
The CCP’s attempts to erode democratic processes and norms around the world threaten US partnerships and prosperity, and if Taipei’s allegations are proved true, it “would be deeply concerning not only for Taiwan’s future, but also for fellow democracies ... where the CCP choose to interfere,” the senators said.
“We believe such allegations must be taken seriously if free societies are to continue to thrive,” they added.
Citing comments by US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Scott Busby that praised Taiwan as “an invaluable model to others,” the senators said that democracies such as the US and Taiwan need to stand together.
It was especially important at a time of democratic backsliding and human rights abuses elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific region that the two sides join hands to promote “a brighter future, free of repression, censorship and exploitation,” they said.
“We write to express our support for efforts to counter interference of this nature and to state unequivocally that we stand shoulder to shoulder with democracies fighting attempts to undermine their sovereignty and freedom,” the senators added.
On the sidelines of a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign and National Defense Committee yesterday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) thanked the US Congress for its support and said that Taiwan has had many discussions with US authorities on the matter.
Taiwan hopes to join in discussions with other nations to help prevent similar interference in democratic practices in other free nations, he said.
SOLVED: Domestic orders have already overtaken the total sold to China last year, while the Canadian and US representative offices posted messages of support A joint effort by groups and individuals in Taiwan and abroad to prop up sales of pineapples after China announced a ban on imports of the fruit succeeded in just four days, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday. China on Friday announced that it would suspend imports of Taiwanese pineapples starting on Monday, citing biosafety concerns. Following the announcement, the council urged the public to assist farmers by purchasing pineapples, saying it hoped to sell 20,000 tonnes of the fruit domestically and 30,000 tonnes in exports. “Domestic orders have already surpassed the total sold to China last year,” COA Minister
MAIN CHALLENGE: The US naval commander warned that China would seek to ‘forcibly change’ the balance of power in the region that would likely be permanent The US encourages Taiwan to invest in defense and obtain asymmetric defense capabilities, US Navy Admiral Philip Davidson said on Thursday. Davidson, commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, made the remark in a videoconference on defense matters hosted by the American Enterprise Institute think tank. “China is positioned to achieve overmatch” in its military capability by 2026, he said. When Beijing is able to, it would “likely choose to forcibly change” the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region, “and I would say the change in that status quo could be permanent,” he said. “China seeks a new world order, one with Chinese characteristics,
PRIORITY: The 117,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine are to be distributed first to front-line healthcare workers who are most at risk of infection, the center said The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines — 117,000 doses of the AstraZeneca drug — arrived in Taiwan yesterday morning, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said. The vaccines were flown to Taiwan by Korean Air and arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 10:21am, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. “After being cleared by customs, the vaccines have been transported to a designated cold storage center,” Chen said. “The vaccines are in multidose vials containing 10 doses per bottle, and are being stored in a refrigerated environment of 2°C to 8°C,” he said. AstraZeneca provided the
SETTING THE TONE: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington would seek to collaborate with Beijing when it can, but would be ‘adversarial when it must be’ The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked US President Joe Biden’s administration after it issued interim guidance on strategic priorities, including reaffirming support for Taiwan. The 23-page Interim National Security Strategic Guidance report, published by the White House on Wednesday, said that the US would “support Taiwan, a leading democracy and a critical economic and security partner, in line with longstanding American commitments.” Since his inauguration in January, Biden’s administration has expressed robust support for Taiwan and said that the US’ security commitment to the nation was “rock solid,” ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said. Taiwan and the US share the same ideals