Taiwan’s Resistance to China’s Intimidation ‘Offers Valuable Insights’ for Democratic Countries: Expert

As Taiwanese citizens head to the polls this weekend, China’s communist regime has increased its interference in Taiwan’s elections. Experts note that Taiwan’s efforts to resist the regime’s meddling in political affairs serve as a reference and warning to free societies worldwide.CCP’s ‘Systemic Approach’On Jan. 13, some 19.5 million Taiwanese voters are expected to elect a new president and members of the 113-seat national legislature.“Beijing’s interference in Taiwan’s elections follows a systematic approach,” said Su Ziyun, director of National Defense Resources and Industry Research at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, a Taipei-based think tank.He said the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) first approach is influence operations, including political warfare and spreading misinformation, followed by economic coercion, such as restricting the export of specific Taiwanese goods to China, and then military actions in the gray area.“The spy balloons fall into the milder spectrum of gray zone actions,” Mr. Su told the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times.On Jan. 8, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense reported that nine Chinese military planes and four navy vessels were detected near the island, with one aircraft entering its southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ).Taiwan’s defense ministry also reported on Monday that as of Jan. 1, 16 Chinese balloons have crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.Related StoriesTaiwan’s Armed Forces has been monitoring the situation and commanded military aircraft, navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to defend against the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) activities, according to the defense ministry.Meanwhile, Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office asserted that Taiwan’s upcoming presidential election poses a choice between “war and peace,” reported Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.‘CCP Seeks Global Control’Yeau-Tarn Lee, a professor at the Graduate Institute of Development Studies at National Chengchi University in Taiwan, analyzed the strategies the CCP adopted to extend its global influence with the ultimate goal of “achieving global dominance” and “challenging the United States.”“China’s Belt and Road Initiative was designed to interfere in global politics—a tactic to compete with the United States on a global scale,” he told The Epoch Times.The CCP exploits the open elections of democratic nations to “embed its interests” and “manipulate the politics of various countries,” Mr. Lee said.He continued: “In essence, irrespective of political, economic, social, or diplomatic dimensions, the CCP seeks global control, advocating the so-called China model. It aspires to have all nations adopt its values, fulfilling what it calls ’the rise of the East and the fall of the West,' the so-called Chinese Dream.”However, Mr. Lee noted that the CCP’s interference in Taiwan’s elections is more pronounced than its interference in other nations.“The CCP aims to manipulate Taiwan through its elections, seeking to achieve objectives akin to what has occurred in Hong Kong, such as implementing the so-called one country, two systems, and ’reunification.' This represents a fundamental difference from the CCP’s intervention in elections in other countries,” he explained.Mr. Lee emphasized that Taiwan serves as a paradigm of global freedom and democracy, acting at the forefront to counter China’s communist regime.“While Taiwan sets an example for the world, it must also collaborate with allies to strategize how to counteract the CCP’s interference in elections. Particularly in the pivotal elections of 2024, Taiwan’s experiences resisting the CCP could offer valuable insights for free and democratic countries worldwide.”The CCP’s recent influence operation appears to endorse Taiwan’s primary opposition party, the Kuomintang Party, which advocates for closer ties with Beijing, while simultaneously criticizing candidates from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which has cultivated a strong relationship with Washington, according to social media research company Graphika.Vice President Lai Ching-te and running mate Hsiao Bi-khim from the DPP are leading in the polls, but the CCP views them as separatists.Since 1996, self-ruling Taiwan has undergone seven presidential elections marked by continuous interference from the CCP, ranging from explicit verbal threats and military coercion to the spread of fake news to sway public opinion, and recent tactics such as manipulating opinion polls, bribing political figures, and deploying military aircraft and weather balloons around the island.The prospect of Beijing utilizing high-altitude weather balloons for surveillance gained attention in February 2023, when the U.S. military shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon that had traversed the continental United States.For the past four years, the Chinese regime has increased its military aggression toward Taiwan by repeatedly breaching the previously recogn

Taiwan’s Resistance to China’s Intimidation ‘Offers Valuable Insights’ for Democratic Countries: Expert

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As Taiwanese citizens head to the polls this weekend, China’s communist regime has increased its interference in Taiwan’s elections. Experts note that Taiwan’s efforts to resist the regime’s meddling in political affairs serve as a reference and warning to free societies worldwide.

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CCP’s ‘Systemic Approach’

On Jan. 13, some 19.5 million Taiwanese voters are expected to elect a new president and members of the 113-seat national legislature.

“Beijing’s interference in Taiwan’s elections follows a systematic approach,” said Su Ziyun, director of National Defense Resources and Industry Research at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, a Taipei-based think tank.

He said the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) first approach is influence operations, including political warfare and spreading misinformation, followed by economic coercion, such as restricting the export of specific Taiwanese goods to China, and then military actions in the gray area.

“The spy balloons fall into the milder spectrum of gray zone actions,” Mr. Su told the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times.

On Jan. 8, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense reported that nine Chinese military planes and four navy vessels were detected near the island, with one aircraft entering its southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

Taiwan’s defense ministry also reported on Monday that as of Jan. 1, 16 Chinese balloons have crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan’s Armed Forces has been monitoring the situation and commanded military aircraft, navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to defend against the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) activities, according to the defense ministry.

Meanwhile, Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office asserted that Taiwan’s upcoming presidential election poses a choice between “war and peace,” reported Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

.

‘CCP Seeks Global Control’

.

Yeau-Tarn Lee, a professor at the Graduate Institute of Development Studies at National Chengchi University in Taiwan, analyzed the strategies the CCP adopted to extend its global influence with the ultimate goal of “achieving global dominance” and “challenging the United States.”

“China’s Belt and Road Initiative was designed to interfere in global politics—a tactic to compete with the United States on a global scale,” he told The Epoch Times.

The CCP exploits the open elections of democratic nations to “embed its interests” and “manipulate the politics of various countries,” Mr. Lee said.

He continued: “In essence, irrespective of political, economic, social, or diplomatic dimensions, the CCP seeks global control, advocating the so-called China model. It aspires to have all nations adopt its values, fulfilling what it calls ’the rise of the East and the fall of the West,' the so-called Chinese Dream.”

However, Mr. Lee noted that the CCP’s interference in Taiwan’s elections is more pronounced than its interference in other nations.

“The CCP aims to manipulate Taiwan through its elections, seeking to achieve objectives akin to what has occurred in Hong Kong, such as implementing the so-called one country, two systems, and ’reunification.' This represents a fundamental difference from the CCP’s intervention in elections in other countries,” he explained.

Mr. Lee emphasized that Taiwan serves as a paradigm of global freedom and democracy, acting at the forefront to counter China’s communist regime.

“While Taiwan sets an example for the world, it must also collaborate with allies to strategize how to counteract the CCP’s interference in elections. Particularly in the pivotal elections of 2024, Taiwan’s experiences resisting the CCP could offer valuable insights for free and democratic countries worldwide.”

The CCP’s recent influence operation appears to endorse Taiwan’s primary opposition party, the Kuomintang Party, which advocates for closer ties with Beijing, while simultaneously criticizing candidates from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which has cultivated a strong relationship with Washington, according to social media research company Graphika.

Vice President Lai Ching-te and running mate Hsiao Bi-khim from the DPP are leading in the polls, but the CCP views them as separatists.

Since 1996, self-ruling Taiwan has undergone seven presidential elections marked by continuous interference from the CCP, ranging from explicit verbal threats and military coercion to the spread of fake news to sway public opinion, and recent tactics such as manipulating opinion polls, bribing political figures, and deploying military aircraft and weather balloons around the island.

The prospect of Beijing utilizing high-altitude weather balloons for surveillance gained attention in February 2023, when the U.S. military shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon that had traversed the continental United States.

For the past four years, the Chinese regime has increased its military aggression toward Taiwan by repeatedly breaching the previously recognized median line that served as an unofficial barrier between the two sides.

The CCP claims Taiwan as its own territory to be taken by force if necessary, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping has vowed to achieve the “reunification” of Taiwan, even though the CCP has never ruled the island.

The Republic of China has governed Taiwan since 1949, when the then-nationalist government retreated to the island after losing the civil war to the CCP, and has nurtured a free and democratic country.

Haizhong Ning and Luo Ya contributed to this report.

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