06/20/2024, 17.34
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China trying to recruit Taiwanese stars for a new 'peace party' (against Lai)

A singer and an actress said they were approached by a Beijing-based entertainment company offering millions if they join a new political party as an alternative to the Kuomintang and the Democratic Progressive Party. Taiwan’s Ministry of Interior warns that it is illegal to establish political parties under the influence of foreign powers.

Taipei (AsiaNews) – Beijing is turning to a new strategy to reshuffle the cards in Taiwan after the unwelcome outcome in the island’s January elections, which saw the victory of the Progressive Democrat William Lai in the presidential race, replacing two-time President and fellow party member Tsai Ing-wen, but without a majority in parliament.

Part of this approach appears to be the creation of a pro-peace party, as an alternative to Kuomintang, with big names from the island’s entertainment industry. The would-be entity would be called the Taiwan Support Peace Party (台灣擁和黨).

On separate Facebook posts, two Taiwanese stars, singer R-chord (謝和弦) and actress Alexis Ho, said that received an email from a Chinese company, Beijing Ciguang Film and Television Media Co Ltd, proposing them to join Taiwan's “pro-peace party”.

Screenshots of the email messages posted by the artists suggest they issue a statement titled "Establish a new type of cross-strait relations" on Facebook, to promote new “cross-strait relations”, which ultimately entails reunification between the island and the mainland. In return, they would be offered work opportunities worth more than NT$ 10 million (US$ 308,950) a year.

The company said that "no fewer than 1,000 people will be influenced to become founding members of the Taiwan Pro-Peace Party" once the statement is published.

According to AiQicha, a Chinese corporate credit query tool, the Beijing Ciguang Film and Television Media Co. Ltd., was set up in February 2023 with a registered capital of 90 million Chinese yuan (about US$ 14 million). Its main business is to provide services such as film and television production and organise cultural and artistic exchange activities.

No party has been registered in Taiwan under the name indicated, but the content of R-chord and Alexis Ho's posts was taken very seriously by Taiwanese authorities.

In a statement, Taiwan’s Ministry of Interior said that Taiwanese have the right to form political parties but cannot accept instructions or funding from foreign forces to develop parties, as this would violate the National Security Act and the Anti-Infiltration Act.

Article 2 of Taiwan's National Security Act states that no one may engage in acts such as initiating, financing, hosting, manipulating, directing, or developing an organisation for a foreign country, China, Hong Kong, Macau, or organisations established or substantially controlled by them.

In the last elections, the lack of agreement between the Kuomintang (the most pro-Beijing party) and the new Taiwan People's Party of former Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je, helped Lai get elected. For China’s rulers, he is the number one obstacle to reunification, which the People's Republic of China wants to achieve at any cost.

At the 16th Straits Forum, held a few days ago in Xiamen, the chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Wang Huning, one of the leading members of Xi Jinping's administration, lashed out against “Separatists seeking Taiwan independence”. In his view, such people undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and harm the interests and well-being of the Taiwanese people.

“Their actions will push Taiwan to the brink of war and bring disaster to people on the island,” he warned, adding that Beijing would welcome more Taiwanese who want to participate in cross-strait trade.


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See also
Beijing anti-secession law and Taiwan anti-annexation bill
Kuomintang leader: "Only democracy in China can bring reunification".
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In his inaugural address, President Lai backs status quo with China
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