The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is likely to continue its carrot-and-stick approach toward Taiwan, but would become more polarizing, the Institute for National Defense and Security Research think tank said in a report last week.
The CCP would likely adopt the same approach in its Taiwan policies in the near future, only with even more polarizing policies, such as introducing more “soft approaches” to appeal to Taiwanese, while simultaneously rolling out “hard approaches” by stepping up efforts to squeeze Taiwan’s international space and conducting more military drills near China’s southeastern coast, the report said.
National security agencies in October last year found that China had attempted to interfere with the Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections by poaching diplomatic allies, limiting Chinese tourism and heightening military threats, the report said.
Photo: Tu Chu-min, Taipei Times
Other moves included the China-based Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland placing newspaper adverts opposing the Anti-infiltration Act (反滲透法) and subsidizing Taiwanese businesspeople in China about NT$6,500 per person for airplane tickets to Taiwan so they could vote for candidates favored by China, the report said.
However, President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) landslide re-election and the Democratic Progressive Party’s continued legislative majority show that China’s aggressive attitude sparked a backlash in Taiwan and its political interference failed, the report said.
That Beijing is sticking to its script suggests that it is ignorant of the strong sentiment in Taiwan against Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) “one county, two systems” formula, it said.
After the pro-democracy camp won a large share of the Hong Kong district council elections in November last year and former Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong director Wang Zhimin (王志民) was replaced on Jan. 4, Beijing would examine its agencies in charge of “Taiwan affairs,” which would be held accountable for failing to stay abreast of and influence public opinion here, the report said.
In related news, photographs of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army simulating a military operation on a command center on Sunday circulated on Chinese social media.
The photos showed operations at sites apparently modeled after places in Penghu County and southern Taiwan.
The Ministry of National Defense yesterday said that it shoulders responsibility for national security and it would respond promptly to any threat to regional security.
As the Chinese government has neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of the images, ministry officials said that it would treat the situation seriously.
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