China likely to intensify influence campaign prior to 2020 election: Taiwan intelligence

The National Security Bureau finds China likely to wage legal and psychological warfare

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Man voting in the 2019 local elections.

Man voting in the 2019 local elections. (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is likely to amp up legal and psychological warfare to influence public opinion in Taiwan prior to the 2020 general election, a report from the National Security Bureau suggested.

The CPP may try to distance the people from the government and create doubt between local and central authorities, according to the Central News Agency. It will likely aid unification-leaning scholars and China-friendly factions of society to guide public opinion.

The bureau said it has reason to believe the CCP exploited political and media controversies prior to last year’s local elections to create hostilities within society. It was asked by the Legislative Yuan to analyze the psychological, legal and polemic tactics China might adopt in the future.

The report suggested in terms of psychological warfare, China may use carrot and stick methods. These could include extolling its preferential policies such as the “31 Measures” towards young, Taiwanese talent, while also parading its military strength.

In terms of legal warfare, the CCP may revise its anti-secession law and review other measures implemented against Taiwan to suppress dissent, the report suggested.

China’s tactics during last year’s local elections included fabricating and manipulating news stories, which were repackaged to influence local public opinion, the bureau said. It cited one article that surfaced claiming President Tsai Ing-wen had agreed to unification.