A reporter and a professor have been indicted on suspicion of taking directives from Chinese officials and disseminating fake opinion polls before the Jan. 13 presidential election.
Finger Media reporter and manager Lin Hsien-yuan and Su Yun-hua (蘇雲華), a retired associate professor from a university in Taichung, were charged with contravening the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act (總統副總統選舉罷免法) and the Anti-infiltration Act (反滲透法), the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office said in the indictment issued on Thursday.
Lin asked Su to accompany him on a funded sightseeing trip to Xiamen, China, from April 20 to 23 last year at the invitation of the Fujian Daily, which is run by the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Fujian Provincial Committee, prosecutors found.
Photo: Chen Chien-chih, Taipei Times
After returning to Taiwan, Lin was instructed to establish a media company in Taichung and produce and publish fake poll results online in a bid to influence public opinion in the run-up to the presidential election, prosecutors said.
Lin tasked Su with the job of fabricating 10 polls for which Su received NT$1.5 million (US$47,835), prosecutors found.
In October last year, Su fabricated eight surveys and Lin’s media company published the results.
One poll produced by Su said the support rating for the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential ticket was 33.05 percent, ahead of the Democratic Progressive Party’s 32.19 percent and the Taiwan People’s Party’s 18.38 percent.
Lin received more than 130,000 yuan (US$18,259) in funding from his contacts in China and discussed poll presentation methods with them, prosecutors said.
While the fake polls were being produced, Lin also allegedly exchanged texts with a man named Chen Binhua (陳斌華), who has the same name as the spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office.
However, prosecutors said they were unable to authenticate his identity.
Lin and Su were arrested and detained after prosecutors searched their workplaces and homes on Dec. 21 last year. Evidence, such as smartphones, computers and materials related to the polls, was seized.
The Taichung District Court on Thursday allowed Lin and Su to be released on bail of NT$350,000 and NT$250,000 respectively.
However, they are banned from changing their place of residence and leaving the country, prosecutors said.
‘A DISASTER’: A successful Chinese attack on Taiwan would undermine the credibility of US security guarantees and could result in a global depression, three experts wrote A Chinese takeover of Taiwan would be a geopolitical catastrophe for the US and its allies, one that would overshadow almost all others over the next decade, US policy experts said. Andrew Erickson, a professor of strategy in the US Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute; Gabriel Collins, a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy; and former US deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger issued the warning in an article published on Friday in Foreign Affairs. Bejing’s invasion or annexation of Taiwan “would be a disaster of utmost importance to the United States, and I am convinced that
Taiwanese businesspeople’s investments in China last year hit a record low of 11.4 percent of total foreign investment, the Mainland Affairs Council said yesterday. The number was a huge decline from 83.8 percent in 2010, mainly because Taiwanese businesspeople have been diversifying their investments globally over the past few years, with great success, the council said. From 1991 to last year, 45,523 Taiwanese investments in China totaling US$206.37 billion had been approved, accounting for 50.7 percent of overall foreign investment, data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission showed. The amount and proportion of Taiwanese investments in China has been declining, with
Taiwanese tourists on board a Kinmen cruise ship had a scare yesterday when it was intercepted by Chinese coast guards who forcefully boarded the vessel to inspect it. The Sunrise, a tourism ferry that operates between Kinmen and Xiamen, China, was sailing around the waters around the islets of Dadan (大膽) and Erdan (二膽) — both of which are part of Kinmen County — yesterday afternoon when it encountered personnel from China’s Fujian Coast Guard Bureau. China Coast Guard personnel forced their way on board and conducted an inspection for about 30 minutes before leaving, local media cited the tourists as saying. The
SEEKING CALM: The US called for maintaining the ‘status quo,’ while the Ministry of National Defense said it would not bolster defenses in the area to avoid raising tensions Taiwanese should have greater faith in the government’s investigation into the capsizing of a Chinese vessel that resulted in the death of two Chinese fishers last week, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said yesterday, adding that Taiwan abides by the rule of law. On Wednesday last week, a Chinese speedboat was spotted trespassing in “prohibited” waters within 1.1 nautical miles (2km) of the east coast of Kinmen. It fled after refusing the coast guard’s request to board the vessel, setting off a chase that led to the boat capsizing, with two Chinese fishers dying. Two survivors were deported back to China