US offers to help Taiwan counter Chinese meddling ahead of 2020 elections

It will provide expertise and techniques to counter threats

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Randall Schriver, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs

Randall Schriver, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The United States is in talks with Taiwan to help the country counteract Chinese meddling in the 2020 presidential election, said a senior U.S. official at the Department of Defense.

In his closing speech for an Asian policy forum on Wednesday (June 19), Randall Schriver, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, acknowledged the growing threat of cyberattacks and the importance of the U.S. working with allies in information and intelligence sharing.

The event was jointly held by Washington-based think tanks the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Institution for National Security Studies, reported Central News Agency.

According to Schriver, China is expected to carry out a range of campaigns to interfere with Taiwan’s presidential election, using social media and cyberattacks. Beijing used missile threats ahead of the 1996 presidential election in Taiwan in an attempt to intimidate the electorate.

The U.S. official said Washington will provide Taiwan with expertise and techniques needed to address relevant threats, but he declined to elaborate on the details, reported CNA.

James Moriarty, Chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, also attended the forum. He urged China to sort out disagreements with Taiwan in ways acceptable to both sides of the strait.

He also reiterated that the “one China, two systems” framework does no good in the current situation and that the notion is unappealing to the people of Taiwan, said the report.