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Sunday, July 14th, 2024

Taiwan issues warning over alleged Chinese influence in political party recruitment

Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior (MOI) has issued a stern warning against the formation of political entities under foreign influence. The advice comes following allegations that a Chinese entity attempted to recruit Taiwanese celebrities to form a political party, reports Focus Taiwan.

Taiwanese people have the right to form political parties, but they cannot accept instructions or funding from foreign forces to develop the parties as this would violate the National Security Act and the Anti-Infiltration Act, the ministry said in a statement.

The statement comes following social media posts made by Taiwanese singer R-Chord on June 14 and actress Alexis Ho on June 15, detailing attempts by a Chinese company, Beijing Ciguang Film and Television Media Co., Ltd., to recruit them via email for pro-China activities.

Screenshots of the emails showed that the artists were invited to release a statement titled “Establish a new type of cross-strait relations” on their Facebook pages, after which they would be appointed as vice presidents of a supposed “Taiwan Pro-Peace Party.” The correspondence also promised lucrative employment opportunities with annual incomes of over NTD10 million (USD308,950), reports Focus Taiwan, which estimated the party would recruit at least 1,000 founding members.

According to information obtained from the Chinese business investigation platform “Aiqicha”, Beijing Siguang Film and Television Media Co., Ltd. was established in February 2023 with a registered capital of 90 million Chinese yuan (approximately USD12.4 million). The company’s declared business activities mainly include film and television production, as well as organizing cultural and artistic exchanges.

As of the latest update, the ministry’s political party information website does not list any entity called “Taiwan Pro-Peace Party,” underscoring the lack of official recognition for such an organization within Taiwan’s political framework.

Highlighting broader concerns, the MOI cited past instances where political parties in Taiwan were suspected of receiving instructions and financial support from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Notably, leaders or officials affiliated with the Republican Party and the Taiwan People’s Communist Party have been accused of promoting specific election candidates under the influence of the CCP.

The National Security Act, under Article 2, explicitly prohibits individuals from engaging in activities that involve starting, financing, manipulating, or developing organizations on behalf of foreign countries, including entities deemed hostile to the interests of China, Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan.

Similarly, Section 3 of the Anti-Infiltration Act prohibits an individual from making political contributions or donations related to referendum activities if such activities are influenced, conducted, or financed by sources linked to foreign infiltration, Focus Taiwan reported.

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