Taiwan accuses China of meddling in elections, influencing media


Taiwan’s National Security Bureau and Ministry of Culture accused China that it is attempting to interfere in Taiwan’s democratic processes, including influencing elections and interfering with media, Taiwan News reported on Wednesday


National Security Bureau (NSB) said China was inviting local politicians intending to influence elections, while the Ministry of Culture (MOC) said it would present a report on the alleged attempts by Chinese reporters to interfere with Taiwan’s media, reports said.


Officials from the Mainland Affairs Council, National Security Bureau, Ministry of Culture, and Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau will present a report to the Legislative Yuan by July 4, detailing their findings on China’s alleged interference in Taiwan’s elections and media.


The methods used by China included underground financial institutions demanding confidential military data as a form of debt repayment by military officers.


At election time, Beijing funded trips by local politicians to China in an attempt to influence voting behaviour, while also spreading reports about measures supposedly favouring Taiwan businesses.


The NSB reports that prosecutors have filed 39 indictments in 84 cases over the past year, indicating a rising trend in challenges to Taiwan’s national security.


According to the report, the alleged interference by Chinese journalists posted in Taiwan on TV talk shows was the subject of an investigation by the MOC.


Seven Chinese media companies had stationed a total of 10 correspondents in Taiwan.


The probe focused on a former reporter for China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency who was accused of involvement in the production of a TV show. He had already left Taiwan, as Chinese correspondents were issued a press pass for three months, with one extension possible.


The MOC said it would publish the results of its probe into the former Chinese journalist within a week.


The investigation focused both on UDN, the Taiwan media outlet that had invited the correspondent, and his employer, Xinhua News. The Chinese news agency’s two current reporters in Taiwan have also been invited to discuss the issue, according to the MOC.


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