TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s National Security Bureau Deputy Director-General Chen Wen-fan (陳文凡) was recently quoted giving a comprehensive picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) plan to solve the Taiwan “problem” by 2049.
The remarks were featured in the Indo-Pacific Defense Forum magazine, a military magazine published quarterly by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, which carried an article detailing a presentation Chen gave last October.
Taiwan forms an integral part of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) agenda, according to Chen.
The country is in a unique position vis-à-vis China, “the most powerful party-state in history [and one] that is determined to terminate Taiwan as it is,” said Chen. He went on to point out that in terms of psychological warfare, Taiwan has “a unique vulnerability because Mandarin Chinese is the common language for both China and Taiwan,” leaving it open to a range of asymmetrical attacks of a kind largely uncommon in modern military exchanges.
“Today, the CCP’s Taiwan policy is guided by Xi’s five-point remarks in January 2019," according to Chen, "which dictate the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) military coercion, external isolation of Taiwan, infiltration and subversion, United Front interaction, and cyber activities and disinformation dissemination."
Chen said that in January 2019 two Chinese scholars told a former U.S. intelligence official about Xi’s forceful unification plan by 2022, citing a February 2019 World Journal report, a Taiwanese outlet based in the United States. The scholars explained that “Xi would work with Russia, Iran, and North Korea for coordination of a scenario in the Mideast and Northeast Asia to constrain intervening U.S. forces for Taiwan.”
Examples of evidence of this hypothesis include Russia’s Tu-95 bombers circling Taiwan proper for the first time on June 20; PLA air force and Russian aircraft jointly patrolling the East China Sea on July 23, 2019; North Korea conducting 11 short-range missile and submarine-launched ballistic missile tests as of October 2019; and Iran announcing a joint military exercise with China and Russia in the western Indian Ocean after the Saudi Arabia oil refinery attack in September 2019, according to Chen, who added that "the CCP’s role is still unclear, but there is some similarity with Xi’s plan."
The CCP has long been pursuing various forms of infiltration in Taiwan, having developed "a complete network of local governments across the strait where business, media, and semi-official representatives in Taiwan cultivate a wide connection," Chen said.
He pointed out that there are at least 22 pro-China organizations and political parties in Taiwan, a number of which have been identified to have connections with "organized crime for extending their networking to local entities and Taiwan businessmen in mainland China."
The high-ranking Taiwan national security official also said that the CCP has launched an enormous amount of cyberattacks against Taiwan, cultivated influence in Taiwan’s media, and meddled with Taiwan’s elections since the 1990s.
However, Chen pointed out that China’s effort to influence Taiwan’s public opinion, though it may work in some instances, “has failed to undermine sovereignty and national identity." He cited the results of a poll released by Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council in May 2019, which showed that 86 percent of respondents are against the so-called one country, two system formula.
Toward the end of his presentation, Chen thanked like-minded friends around the world for their support, and he thanked the U.S. in particular for passing the Taiwan Travel Act in 2018, the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019, and the Taipei Act in 2020.