The government is implementing measures to respond to state-owned Chinese media’s threats against Taiwanese independence advocates, a national security official said on Friday.
The Chinese-language Ta Kung Pao — a Hong Kong-based newspaper run by the Chinese government through the Hong Kong Liaison Office — on Nov. 15 reported that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was compiling “a list of stubborn Taiwanese separatists and will severely punish them in accordance with [China’s] Anti-Secession Law and hold them accountable for their actions for the rest of their lives.”
The Chinese-language People’s Daily Overseas Edition on Nov. 19 reported that Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) “is guilty of monstrous crimes and he will not escape the judgement of history.”
The reports were an attempt by the CCP to intimidate Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters, the party’s financial backers and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), a source said.
China was likely attempting to distract the world from problems with its economy and internal administration, the source said, adding that the same motivation was likely behind a China Central Television program claiming that Chinese authorities had captured “Taiwanese spies.”
Responding to the People’s Daily report — as well as a Global Times article that called him a “first-rate war criminal” — Su on Friday said that the accusations partly stemmed from his policy on mask exports.
Su added that he was “not concerned and not afraid, because my focus is on protecting the health of Taiwanese.”
A rumor — believed to have originated in China — that missing pilot Colonel Chiang Cheng-chih (蔣正志) defected to the People’s Republic of China is also evidence of Beijing’s attempts to destabilize Taiwanese society and politics, the source said.
On Nov. 20, the Ministry of National Defense disputed the defection claim.
There are no plans for a Cabinet reshuffle, Tsai said on Wednesday last week, adding that she hoped Su would continue as premier.
While most of the planned response measures to misinformation and intimidating comments in Chinese media remain confidential, the first step would be to publicly expose and refute the reports, and highlight the Tsai administration’s achievements, the source said.
“Taiwanese economic performance has been good under Su, and there are no plans to replace him,” the source added.
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
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