A Chinese government organization has been described as influencing Taiwan’s politics by mobilizing Taiwanese businesspeople based in China to return to Taiwan on a heavily discounted flight ticket to vote in tomorrow’s elections, a special report released by Reuters yesterday said, detailing how China penetrates Taiwan on various fronts.
Reuters said it has reviewed a wide array of documents from the United Front Work Department, an organ of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee, which says its mission is “to spread China’s influence by ultimately gaining control over a range of groups not affiliated with the party and that are often outside the mainland.”
Reuters said that the documents reveal the extent to which the agency is engaged in activities that aim to bring Taiwan closer to China and possibly see the two sides’ ultimate unification.
The Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland (ATIEM), is identified as one of the groups that the United Front, or Beijing, wishes to hold sway over.
Listing more than 130 Taiwanese business associations across China as members and China’s Taiwan Affairs Office minister as its honorary chairman, ATIEM is the group that lobbied for increased ties with China and once asked President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to make it legal for Taiwanese to hold membership in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
The Beijing-based association has put effort into mobilizing “election airlifts.”
According to the report, a KMT internal survey showed that as many as 80 percent of people who live in China and returned to Taiwan to vote in the 2012 presidential election voted for Ma.
This year — with Chinese authority’s “unspoken consent” — ATIEM has negotiated with airline companies, including China Airlines and China’s state-owned Air China to provide discounted flights for Taiwanese businesspeople to return home to vote.
The Taiwanese business community in China is “China’s best public relations tool,” the president of the Shenzhen-based Taiwan Merchants Association said, according to the report.
Editor’s note: The entire Reuters special report will be published on page 9 of tomorrow’s Taipei Times.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of