1st Edition

Chinese Election Interference in Taiwan

By Edward Barss Copyright 2022
    280 Pages
    by Routledge

    280 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book documents the history of China’s attempts to undermine Taiwan’s elections, offering additional insights into China’s methods of influence in Hong Kong, the United States and Canada.

    Drawing from Chinese language primary sources and historical accounts, Taiwan is presented as a growing democracy that has had to endure constant threats to its way of democratic life from the People’s Republic of China (China). Examining China’s election interference operations and several previously undocumented instances of Chinese interference, chapters in this book not only cover traditional methods of influence such as diplomacy, economic policy, and military intimidation, but also an array of novel practices involving organized crime, religion, and the media. Conceptual and practical ideas have been developed for studying and combatting election interference, which will particularly appeal to policy makers and security professionals seeking to better identify instances of ongoing election interference and the motivations driving this phenomenon.

    Chinese Election Interference in Taiwan’s National Elections will prove an innovative resource to students and scholars of international relations and Chinese studies, including history and politics.

    1. Introduction

    1.1 The Broader Field and China's Election Interference Activities

    1.2 Limitation, Scope, and Approach

    1.3 Book Layout

    2. Background, Concepts, and Related Research

    2.1 Background on Taiwan's Government, Electoral System, and Important Political Actors

    2.2 Terminology

    2.3 Relevant Literature

    2.4 A Bounded Operationalization of Election Interference

    2.5 Why Interfere in Taiwan's Elections?

    2.6 Conclusion

    3. Background on CCP Organizations Relevant to Election Interference

    3.1 Chinese Influence Operations Structure

    3.2 The Leading Small Group for Taiwan Affairs and the Taiwan Affairs Office

    3.3 PLA Intelligence Organizations

    3.4 The Ministry of State Security

    3.5 The United Front Work Department (UFWD)

    3.6 Methods of Operation

    3.7 Conclusion

    4. Election Interference Incidents

    4.1 Media Interference

    4.1.1 New Media, Disinformation, Misinformation, and ‘Civil Society’ Activities

    4.2 Cross-Strait Economic Connections

    4.3 Organized Crime and Election Interference

    4.4 Pro-Unification Parties and Organizations

    4.5 Political Contacts Outside Major Political Parties

    4.6 Religious Election Interference

    4.7 The Chou Tzu-yu Incident

    4.8 Confessed Spy: Wang Liqiang

    4.9 Hacking (Computer Network Attacks)

    4.10 Summary

    5. History of CCP Actions during Election Cycles

    5.1 Broad Examination of Direct CCP Actions and Their Relation to Taiwanese Elections

    5.2 2007-2008 - Legislative Elections, Presidential Election, and the U.N. Referendum

    5.2.1 Election Results

    5.3 2009 - Local Elections

    5.4 2010 - Municipal Elections

    5.5 2011-2012 - Legislative and Presidential Elections

    5.5.1 Election Results

    5.6 2014 - First Combined Local and Municipal Elections

    5.7 2015-2016 - Legislative and Presidential Elections

    5.7.1 Election Results

    5.8 2018 - Local Elections

    5.9 2020 - Legislative and Presidential Elections

    5.9.1 Election Results

    6. Year-by-Year Examination of the CCP’s Cross-Strait Influence Policies

    6.1 Past Policy Frameworks and Policy in 2007

    6.2 2008-2009: Policy After the 2008 Elections

    6.3 2010: Interim Policy

    6.4 2011: Policy Prior to the 2012 Elections

    6.5 2012-2013: Post-Election Policy and the CCP Leadership Transition

    6.6 2014: Policy Reactions to the Sunflower Student Movement and Local Election Results

    6.7 2015: Policy Prior to the 2016 Elections and the Reorganization of the United Front

    6.8 2016-2017: Post-2016 Election Aftermath and the New Approach

    6.9 2018-2019: Refinement and Pressure

    6.10 Summary

    7. Analysis

    7.1 Media

    7.2 Cross-Strait Economic Connections

    7.3 Organized Crime

    7.4 Pro-Unification Parties and Organizations

    7.6 Cultivation of Political Contacts Outside of Major Parties

    7.7 Religious Interference

    7.8 Hacking

    7.9 Military Threats

    7.10 Verbal Threats/Warnings/Criticisms

    7.11 Economic Incentives and Measures

    7.12 Party-to-Party Contacts

    7.13 List of Methods and Techniques Used

    7.15 Summary

    8. Conclusion

    8.1 Policy Recommendations

    8.3 Conclusion


    Edward J. Barss is an independent scholar and former Taiwan fellowship recipient who specializes in the study of Chinese politics with an emphasis on regional security issues.