By Jin Yi Source: Global Times
Photo: State security agency
In a special operation dubbed Thunder-2020 Crackdown, Chinese mainland security authorities have foiled hundreds of espionage cases involving spies from the island of Taiwan and arrested a number of Taiwan spies. This is not an isolated operation, as the mainland carries out similar actions every year, given that the rising number of spying operations by Taiwan authorities in the Chinese mainland over the years.
Taiwan’s espionage activities against the Chinese mainland are mostly carried out in two ways – through organized intelligence espionage network systems or through social groups and individuals misrepresenting themselves who have integrated into all walks of lives in the mainland. Considering the growing number of the uncovered cases, it can be argued that Taiwan’s subterfuge is increasing.
Given the current complex international situation and overheated tensions between Beijing and Washington, it’s very likely espionage orchestrated by Taiwan will escalate.
The US will also make full use of the Taiwan card. It has boosted cooperation with relevant Taiwan authorities in intelligence work. For instance, the US has supported the island of Taiwan with satellite technologies. Related moves are aimed at turning the island into a hub for detecting and collecting intelligence on the Chinese mainland. It is reported that below the new compound of the American Institute in Taiwan, the Asia-Pacific’s most powerful intelligence facility was installed. This of course is designed to spy on the Chinese mainland to satisfy the needs of the US in its confrontation with China.
Taiwan is willing to be the US’ pawn and coordinate with the US. Taiwan authorities under leader Tsai Ing-wen also have a need to gather more intelligence on military security, especially considering the Chinese mainland’s determination to clamp down on Taiwan secessionist forces.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities in the island will pour more taxpayers money into spying technologies and spies. They will hardly scale down relevant actions because of intensifying countermoves from the Chinese mainland. The struggle for intelligence across the Straits will become fiercer and we must strengthen our national awareness over the issue, raising our vigilance against spies.
During her “Double Ten” (October 10) address on Saturday, Tsai hypocritically said “we will not act rashly” and “we are committed to upholding cross-Straits stability,” pretending to be low-profile and peace-loving, hinting if conflicts happen, it is not her authorities’ responsibility. By uncovering rampant espionage cases we have proved that she is saying one thing but doing quite another. The truth is, DPP authorities are accelerating confrontation and jeopardizing peace. The mainland unveiled the Thunder-2020 Crackdown as a warning.
It can be predicted that Tsai will keep pretending to seek peace and stability in her rhetoric. But her Saturday speech shows she will accelerate the island’s pace of military integration with the US, reshaping global supply chains with the West and away from China, and root out anti-secessionist forces on the island. Taiwan cannot participate in international organizations and relevant activities, but it will organize its own activities on the island, promoting the so-called alliance of the willing, as an attempt to win sympathy and support from the international community.
When former Taiwan regional leader Ma Ying-jeou promoted ties with the Chinese mainland, the US and Japan at the same time, Taiwan had to some extent policy independence. But thanks to DPP authorities, the island’s flexibility has vanished. Taiwan has no say in cross-Straits ties, which have totally become a subsidiary of China-US relations. The developing situation across the Straits simply matches developments in Beijing-Washington ties.
How much international support will Taiwan be able to gather? Assume the island invites disaster by declaring independence, surely its leaders knows that no country will send troops to defend the island. Taiwan should be well aware of this.
The author is a research fellow at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. [email protected]