China is using economic incentives to target 10 types of groups in Taiwan as part of its “united front” tactics, an unnamed government official said, citing national security intelligence.
The official said the groups targeted for engagement are local townships, young people and students, Chinese spouses of Taiwanese, Aborigines, pro-China political parties and groups, temples, descendants of Chinese who retain roots in China, labor groups, farmers’ and fishermens’ associations, and military veterans.
The government had previously estimated that China spends at least NT$10 billion (US$337.8 million) per year enticing Taiwanese to join united front efforts, but they believe that there might be more “invisible funding.”
China uses economic incentives when cultivating Chinese spouses, Aboriginal leaders, and local township and religious organizations, the official said, adding that Beijing might provide free visits to China or direct benefits to improve China’s approval rating.
China is also attempting to establish internal aid in Taiwan to direct public affairs and political activities, the official said.
Different levels of officials from China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee and other groups have used Taiwan’s pro-unification groups and pro-China associations to arrange visits to Taiwan, gradually affecting exchanges using united front strategies, another unnamed source familiar with the matter said.
Trade groups, Chinese-funded firms and the local offices of Chinese businesses have members who also hold Chinese government positions, the source said, adding that these people cooperate with instructions from China.
During former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, Xiamen University’s Taiwan Research Institute and other Chinese think tanks researched Taiwan’s political and economic development and social sentiment for a long period in the name of academic cooperation and field research, the source said.
The organizations claimed that hotel costs were too high and rented homes in Taiwan for professors and students, the source said, adding that the groups used this opportunity to collect intelligence.
A suspected “price list” set by the TAO has emerged in a case involving New Party spokesman Wang Ping-chung (王炳忠), a national security official said.
Prosecutors have also found several million yuan in the accounts of other pro-China political parties and groups, the official said.
China has also hinted to political party members that if they gather military information in Taiwan, China would compensate them generously, while others have traveled to China to interact with national security officials and accept funds, the official added.
These cases are difficult to investigate, because it is not easy to prove that the money in those accounts was given by Chinese intelligence agencies or agencies involved with Taiwan, the official said.
Meanwhile, Chinese divisions involved with Taiwan are spread throughout several Chinese party, government and military divisions, including the UFWD, the Taiwan affairs system, think tanks and other divisions, the official said.
Taiwan has continuously tracked China’s attempts to influence Taiwanese politics and society, and has reacted appropriately, they added.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: China might impose a blockade, conduct limited force operations, use an air and missile campaign, or resort to an invasion, the report said The US Department of Defense has identified four possible military courses of action that China could take against Taiwan, but did not offer any guess on when Beijing might be ready to act. In an annual report to the US Congress released on Tuesday titled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2022, the department gave a broad overview of China’s military capabilities, strategy, ambitions and intentions. The report devoted significant space to developments related to Taiwan, against which it said China had intensified diplomatic, economic, political and military pressure last year. For example, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
Taipei on Friday rejected Hanoi’s characterization of its recent live-fire drill near Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) as “illegal,” saying that Taiwan’s claim to the small island in the South China Sea was “unquestionable.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement that the comments made by its Vietnamese counterpart about the military’s routine live-fire drills near Itu Aba on Tuesday were “unacceptable.” Earlier on Friday, Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang called Taiwan’s military activity “a serious violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty,” saying it had caused tensions and complicated the situation in the region. Hang
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is planning to offer advanced 4-nanometer chips when its new US$12 billion plant in Arizona opens in 2024, an upgrade from its previous public statements, after US customers such as Apple Inc pushed the company to do so, according to people familiar with the matter. TSMC is expected to announce the new plan when US President Joe Biden and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo visit the facility near Phoenix for a ceremony on Tuesday next week, the people said. The TSMC plant had been slated to make 5-nanometer semiconductors, a standard that would be far
PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE MEETING: The statement by the former US representative came as Congress is poised to back US$10 billion to bolster Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities Former US representative Will Hurd yesterday said visiting Taiwan has made him realize that China’s “one country, two systems” framework is not a feasible solution for Taiwan. Hurd, who is visiting Taiwan with an international delegation, made the remarks when meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office in Taipei. There is bipartisan support for Taiwan in Washington, with Republicans and Democrats agreeing that only the 23.5 million Taiwanese can decide the nation’s future, said Hurd, a trustee at the Washington-based German Marshall Fund think tank. Former German lawmaker Marieluise Beck said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed mindsets