Friday, August 26, 2011

PRC steps up psychological warfare against Taiwan

Chinese espionage against Taiwan is not a new phenomenon. But growing contact between the two sides is creating new opportunities, and the Chinese intelligence apparatus is adjusting accordingly

China is intensifying its psychological warfare against Taiwan and appears to be using tourism as a means to collect intelligence in Taiwan, information obtained by the Taipei Times shows.

Reports on various Chinese military Web sites dating back to March last year reveal that the Nanjing Military Region’s General Political Department’s (GPD) 311 Base in Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, has been turned into a center of political warfare operations against Taiwan.

Reorganization efforts have seen China’s Voice of the Straits radio, formerly known as the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Fujian frontline broadcasting station,  incorporated into 311 Base [PLA Army unit 61716].

The station, a service launched in the 1950s to broadcast propaganda at Taiwan, introduced online broadcasting in April 2000.

The move was part of an expansion of psychological warfare from the radio station to a variety of fields, including publishing and other areas of contact with Taiwan, making 311 Base “the cornerstone of the PLA’s psychological warfare against Taiwan,” the reports said.

Included in those other “areas of contact” was tourism, the reports said, adding that 311 Base and its subsidiaries would make “further investments,” without specifying what those were.

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here. As you read this, remember what Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝), director of the National Security Bureau, told the legislature in May: “Many Chinese intelligence operatives use false identities, claiming they are visiting scholars or tourists, to travel here.”

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