Taiwan Investigation Bureau to look at election funding from China

'Fake news' also key area of work for MJIB in run-up to January elections

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Investigation Bureau keeps a close watch on money from China influencing the 2020 election.

Investigation Bureau keeps a close watch on money from China influencing the 2020 election. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) said Saturday (July 6) it would closely monitor the possibility that funds from China found their way into campaigns for next January’s presidential and legislative elections.

Officials have already expressed concern about China using “fake news” to influence the outcome of the January 11, 2020 elections, but indirect funding was also a risk.

The MJIB has reportedly already set up special taskforces to tackle the different topics, from “fake news” to the funneling of funds into Taiwan, the Central News Agency reported.

However, the service denied it was paying close attention to Chinese purchases of agricultural products from Taiwan. The activity formed a normal part of international trade and would not be targeted for further investigations, according to MJIB.

It would only be a violation of the Election and Recall Act if the money from the agricultural purchases were moved into the accounts of an election candidate, the bureau said.

In addition, the MJIB denied a United Daily News report that it had singled out six news and entertainment websites for closer attention in order to identify potential “fake news.”

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will represent the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to run for re-election to a second and final term next January, while the main opposition Kuomintang will choose a candidate through an opinion poll process scheduled for July 8-14.

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is highly likely to run as an independent candidate, while smaller parties are also considering joining the race. Voters will also elect the 113 members of the Legislative Yuan.