TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – China will interfere with the campaign for the January 2020 elections by luring away one or two more of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies by the end of the year, according to a report by the National Security Council (NSC).
The Solomon Islands and Kiribati switched to Beijing within the space of a week earlier this month, cutting the total number of Taiwan’s official allies to 15.
Before the January 11 elections for a president and Legislative Yuan, China was likely to resort to the next level of interference, taking away one or two more allies, threatening to terminate the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, or even setting a timetable for unification, the NSC said in a report presented Monday (September 23).
The Beijing leadership would also respond strongly to support for Taiwan voiced by the United States, Japan and the European Union over the island’s quest to attend international events, the Central News Agency quoted the report as saying.
China had always seen economic relations and trade as a way to influence Taiwan, and in the run-up to the election it might restrict Taiwan’s economic benefits in order to influence voters, the NSC said.
Other economic measures it might consider would be further restrictions on travel by Chinese tourists, students and business people, reductions in the number of cross-strait flights, monetary restrictions and demands for prominent Taiwanese business people to take a stand on cross-strait issues.
Further military maneuvers and the drawing up of a “Unification Law” or a version of Hong Kong’s “One Country, Two Systems” formula aimed at Taiwan also amounted to the possibilities, according to the NSC.