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U.S. senators urge action against CCP meddling in Taiwan elections

ROC Central News Agency

2018/12/19 13:19:36

Taipei, Dec. 19 (CNA) Six American senators have asked U.S. government agencies to help Taiwan investigate China's alleged meddling in its elections and take action to prevent Beijing from interfering in future elections in democracies around the globe.

"We appreciate your actions your departments are already taking to address CCP (Chinese Communist Party) foreign interference," the senators said in a letter addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

"We encourage you to work closely with Taiwan authorities to thoroughly investigate these allegations and, if necessary, take swift action to deter future CCP interference in elections in Taiwan or elsewhere across the globe," senators Catherine Cortez Masto, Marco Rubio, Christopher Coons, Cory Gardner, Michael Bennet and Ted Cruz said in the letter dated Dec. 13.

Taiwan's government suggested that illegal campaign contributions to pro-Beijing political candidates were one of the primary tools of alleged CCP interference in the Nov. 24 elections for local government offices, the letter said.

Taiwan also accused the CCP of "using disinformation to shape public opinion of political candidates deemed unsympathetic to Beijing's interests" and alleged that "the CCP spread false information through social media and messaging platforms."

The senators said CCP attempts to erode democratic processes and norms around the world threaten U.S. partnerships and prosperity, and if Taiwan's allegations proved true, it "would be deeply concerning not only for Taiwan's future, but also for fellow democracies....where the CCP many choose to interfere."

"We believe such allegations must be taken seriously if free societies are to continue to thrive," said the senators.

Citing comments by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Scott Busby to praise Taiwan as "an invaluable model to others," they said democracies like the U.S. and Taiwan had to stand together.

They said it was especially important at a time of democratic backsliding and human rights abuses elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific region that the two sides join hands to promote "a brighter future, free of repression, censorship and exploitation."

"We write to express our support for efforts to counter interference of this nature and to state unequivocally that we stand shoulder to shoulder with democracies fighting attempts to undermine their sovereignty and freedom," they wrote.

In response, Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Taiwan's foreign affairs minister, thanked the U.S. Congress for its support and said Taiwan has had many discussions with U.S. authorities in this area.

Taiwan hopes to join in discussions with other countries to help prevent similar interference in democratic practices in other free countries, he said.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh, Ku Chuan and Flor Wang)
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