Opposition presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu appeared to be on the back foot today, when he struck out at allegations that Chinese Communist Party-backed operatives had invested RMB1.5 billion (NT$6 billion) to push Taiwanese media to promote his campaign to unseat the Democratic Progressive party in last year’s nationwide local elections.
“If I took one cent from the Chinese Communist Party, I will resign from the Presidential race,” Han Guo-yu said, gesticulating in an angry manner.
Han was responding to allegations raised by alleged Chinese operative Wang Liqiang, after Wang spoke to Australian media, and made a 17-page statement to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
The Financial Times reported more details today about the statement Wang made to ASIO. According to the Financial Times report, more than 200,000 fake social media accounts were made to attack the Democratic Progressive Party and influence the elections from August 2018.
More than 20 internet companies were created via two Chinese intelligence front companies based in Hong Kong to conduct operations online, and more than RMB1.5 billion was given to Taiwanese media agencies.
Wang’s statement to ASIO was passed on to the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing network (USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia), and the document viewed by the Financial Times was confirmed legitimate by a senior Australian official, according to the Financial Times report.
Correction: The New York Times reported that Wang’s statement included the information that he had donated money to Han’s campaign fund. We previously wrote that nobody had made allegations about Han receiving any money from Beijing.
Want Want Group’s China Times, a pro-China media outlet operating in Taiwan that was named specifically by Wang Liqiang as being a key ally in Beijing’s covert operation reported today that the issue is a matter of the US and Australia interfering in Taiwan’s elections.
Han Guo-yu, who warned his followers on November 10, that his enemies would launch a series of “nuclear bombs” as part of a smear campaign, said today that the alleged Chinese spy’s allegations constitute the “second nuclear bomb.”
There will be five “nuclear bombs” launched, according to Han’s prediction.
Han then demanded Wang Liqiang to come to Taiwan and explain himself. “Don’t hide in a foreign county and spread rumors,” Han said. “Come to Taiwan and present the evidence.”
Han complained again that the media paints him as a gangster, a lowlife, a drunkard, a womanizer, and a real-estate speculator. Added to this are now allegations that he has taken communist party money.
Han then complained again that Wang was hiding in a foreign country, and questioned why he would talk to Australian media. “Australian media is ranked 80th on the internet,” Han said, not specifying on what criteria. “And then the story is enlarged in Taiwan,” Han continued.
Han then repeated his recent rhetoric of 90% of the media in Taiwan dares not to supervise the incumbent government, and focuses on him in a negative way, with the addition that the 90% is now joined by the Australian media.
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