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CCP leader Xi Jinping recently told President Biden that China plans to “reunify” Taiwan with the mainland, and that China’s “preference” is to do so peacefully. Meanwhile, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s presidential and vice-presidential candidates for Taiwan’s January 2024 election, Lai Ching-te and Hsiao Bi-khim, are vocally supportive of independence from China. Lai has described himself as a “pragmatic worker for ‘Taiwan independence.” Lai also bluntly and correctly diagnosed China as instigating the conflict between China and Taiwan: “China’s desire to annex Taiwan is [its] national policy […] it’s not provoked by any political party or individual, and you can’t stop it by fully accepting China’s ideas.” Meanwhile, as Taiwan’s election nears, the CCP is waging a toxic propaganda campaign aimed at weakening the link between the ruling DPP and its people. It is doing this through messaging that the DPP (and not the CCP) that is warmongering and toxic, that Taiwan’s population does not want the DPP, and that Taiwan’s political future is one that appeases the CCP.
Claim #1: DPP is Warmongering and Toxic
The CCP gaslights the DPP and portrays them, not the CCP, as calling for war. Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for China’s State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, remarked that those that a person that advocates for Taiwan independence “is a ‘troublemaker’ and ‘war-maker,’ as cited by China Daily. The DPP’s Vice Presidential candidate, Hsiao Bi-khim “has been included in the mainland’s list of die-hard ‘Taiwan independence’ separatists,” according to another China Daily article. According to Chen Binhua, another spokesman for China’s State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, the DPP’s presidential and vice presidential candidates “will only harm the interests and well-being of the people in Taiwan, harm the peace and stability of the Taiwan Straits, and harm the future and destiny of Taiwan,” according to Global Times.
Claim #2: Taiwan Does Not Want to be Governed by DPP
The CCP is also trying to drive a wedge between the DPP and Taiwan by attempting to convince the island that the DPP is not popular. A Global Times article claims that “[p]ublic opinion in the island said that the duo of Lai and Hsiao will only push Taiwan into a disastrous abyss.” According to Global Times, the US doubting the leadership of DPP presidential candidate Lai Ching-te, and the US commitment to not support “Taiwan independence,” has “already dealt a blow to Lai’s popularity” in Taiwan.
Claim #3: Only Acceptable Outcome of Elections in Taiwan is one that Appeases CCP
The CCP also is trying to convince Taiwan that the only acceptable political outcome of the elections is one that appeases the CCP. Zhu for example “expressed the hope that Taiwan compatriots will firmly oppose ‘Taiwan independence’ for the sake of their peace, stability and well-being,” according to China Daily. While Chen argues that China “…respect[s] the social system of the island Taiwan…,” this is essentially meaningless given that Chen also admits that China “hope[s] that the people of Taiwan can…firmly oppose ‘Taiwan independence’ separatism and foreign interference, and jointly promote the cross-Straits relations back to the correct track of peaceful development [i.e., appeasement of China], according to Global Times. Similarly, Chen is quoted in another China Daily article saying that “it’s hoped that the majority of compatriots in Taiwan will uphold the national righteousness, adhere to the ‘1992 Consensus,’ and oppose ‘Taiwan independence.’”
China poses a serious threat in manipulating Taiwan’s upcoming election. Taiwanese officials assert that China is using Douyin (mainland China’s version of Tiktok) to manipulate Taiwanese voters to vote against the DPP. After Taiwan began investigating “hundreds” of Taiwanese politicians allegedly receiving discounted trips to China in an “election interference” scheme that was subsidized by the CCP, CCP-run Global Times calls such an investigation a “green [the color of the DPP] terror on the grassroots of Taiwan.” Taiwan security officials also stated that China attempted more election interference by trying to buy off several of Taiwan’s religious leaders with subsidized trips to China.
In response to allegations of China interfering in Taiwan’s elections, CCP-run China Daily ironically asserts that “[i]t must be emphasized that the island’s elections are purely China’s internal affair which brooks no interference by external or other forces.” Will Taiwan, a country that has a 94/100 Global Freedom Status score from Freedom House, have its elections usurped by China?
Border Patrol Council President concerned over ‘influx’ of military-aged Chinese men crossing the southern border
According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol data Border Patrol agents detained over 30,000 Chinese individuals for illegally crossing the border from January to November 2023, sparking concern.
Just The News reports that National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd on Wednesday said the United States should be incredibly concerned by the influx of military-aged Chinese men coming across the southern border.
“Why are we seeing this influx?” Judd asked on the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show. “At best, they’re just coming here for a better life or for a better job. At worse, they’re coming here to be part of the Chinese government, and that’s what scares me an awful lot.”
“We know that the Chinese have huge gangs here in the United States, and they control certain parts of our country,” he later said. “They control the drug flow. They control the prostitution. They control everything that’s illegal in certain portions of the country. We have to look into that. It’s very important that we understand why we are having so many people from China, especially military-aged men, from China.”
“I don’t want to cause mass hysteria where United States citizens are violent towards people from China,” Judd said. “However, we have to … allow the intelligence community to do their job. We’ve got to let law enforcement do their job and look into these individuals.”
Many Chinese immigrants are leaving due to economic conditions in China and its strict lockdowns, Yahoo News reported.
“Again, at best, they’re here for a better life,” Judd said. “At worst, they’re here to be part of the Chinese government to infiltrate our own country.”
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