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.
WAR FUNDING: A report by UK and Ukrainian defense analysts said that Taiwanese exports of a compound used in gunpowder have been helping Russia propagate its war About 20 percent of nitrocellulose — a compound used in gunpowder — imported into Russia has been sourced from Taiwan, a joint British-Ukrainian investigative report showed. Nitrocellulose is a key component of smokeless gunpowder, and the EU has banned export of the compound to Russia due to its ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine. The report said that nitrocellulose produced in Taiwan makes its way to Russia by passing through other countries such as Turkey. Only one company, T.N.C. Industrial Co (台硝), was named in the report, which also named China and Germany as key sources of the compound for
A Singaporean social media streamer who goes by the pseudonym Kiaraakitty faked an egg attack by an alleged passerby during a livestream in Kaohsiung on Feb. 9, the city’s police department said on Saturday. The department was responding to the streamer’s claim earlier this month that a stranger had thrown eggs at her during a recent visit to Kaohsiung. Kiaraakitty is known for posting provocative content on livestreaming sites such as Twitch and Discord, as well as other social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. She also posts on paid adult content Web site OnlyFans. In the video dated Feb. 9,
HOT TOPIC: The Taiwan-born founder of a restaurant in the Japanese city is generally credited with creating the super spicy dish, which was originally intended as a staff meal For Taiwanese, ramen is one of the dishes that most represents Japan; for Japanese, its origins are in China. Then there is “Taiwan ramen,” which can only be found in Japan, but not in Taiwan. It is almost impossible to reach a consensus on the origin of any dish, but a brief look at its history might be helpful. Not many people who are not Japanese question whether ramen is really Japanese. Yet think about it — ramen is often unctuous and rich, unlike most other must-try Japanese foods familiar to foreign visitors to the country, such as sushi and soba noodles. According
MORE THAN USUAL: The number of naval ships in the area was more than the usual four to six in a 24-hour window and the highest so far this year, data showed Eleven Chinese naval vessels were detected around Taiwan, the highest daily number this year, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday as a row between Taipei and Beijing over a fatal fishing boat incident drags on. In the 24 hours leading up to 6am yesterday, China deployed 15 warplanes, 11 naval vessels and one balloon in the waters and skies around Taiwan, the ministry said. At least 15 more Chinese warplanes had been detected since then, it said. The number of Chinese naval ships was more than the usual four to six in a 24-hour window and the highest so far this year,