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China uses Taiwan as a lab to disrupt democracies: Nikkei Asian Review

The aim could be the 2020 U.S. presidential election

Chinese Internet users.

Chinese Internet users. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - China is using Taiwan as an R&D lab to apply methods of disrupting democracy on the island and elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review reported Thursday.

Some experts even believe that Beijing’s ultimate aim is to compile enough knowhow to eventually swing the 2020 United States presidential election its way.

During the campaign for the November 24 local elections in Taiwan, there were repeated reports of “fake news” and of potential online interference, mainly from China.

The experience which Beijing accumulated during that campaign might help it apply similar tactics and techniques on an even larger scale against other democracies, and after two years even against the U.S., the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

The publication quoted Jessica Drun, a research analyst at SOS International in Washington as saying that “Chinese disinformation campaigns against Taiwan could be used as a blueprint against other democracies.”

Over the years, China has become more sophisticated in how it deals with Taiwan and has improved its knowledge and understanding of its democracy, politics and culture, allowing it to refine its strategy and tactics on how to influence public opinion on the island, reports said.