The Taiwanese government has reportedly reached out to Canada to offer assistance in combating foreign interference by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), as they have experienced their own share of intrusion. Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Jaushieh Joseph Wu, confirmed on September 6 that his government engaged in discussions with Ottawa regarding Chinese interference, sharing insights into how they have dealt with decades of Chinese intimidation.
Over the past several years, Beijing subsidiaries, including the United Front, have allegedly had an active foothold in Canadian democracy, funding election interference networks. Despite ongoing pushback from Opposition parties, the federal government finally announced the appointment of a commissioner to lead a public inquiry into Chinese interference.
However, concrete legislative reforms have not been implemented yet, including the establishment of a foreign agent registry. In light of this situation, a reporter from The Bureau raised the question of whether Taiwan, as an experienced counter-actor to United Front warfare, would be willing to work with the Canadian government to provide advice and recommendations. Minister Wu responded cautiously, acknowledging Canada’s friendship with Taiwan but refraining from providing direct advice to the Canadian government.
Although cooperation between Taiwan and Canada is trending positively, Minister Wu praised Canada’s proactive posture on China. He emphasized the seriousness of Chinese influence, particularly the use of United Front tactics, immigration, and diaspora communities to further Beijing’s agenda. Taiwan has also been actively guarding against Chinese infiltration into Taiwanese media through disinformation campaigns, aiming to preserve freedom of speech while being cautious about diaspora communities loyal to China.
Part of the Chinese disinformation campaign involves focusing on the diaspora community in order to influence and affect political decisions. Taiwan has been facing infiltration campaigns for a significant period, and their response involves promptly addressing any false accusations or misinformation. Minister Wu expressed Taiwan’s readiness to engage with Canada to share their experiences.
The issue of foreign interference by the PRC is a developing story, and both Taiwan and Canada are working to address the challenges it presents. As the relationship between the two countries strengthens, it is expected that they will continue to collaborate and support each other in countering foreign interference.