Not only are retired Taiwanese generals part of the program, but China has also begun inviting former intelligence officers
A new study on the rising number of retired senior Taiwanese military officers who visit China concludes that retired officials of “mainland” heritage represent the constituency in Taiwan most likely to support unification and could serve as willing conduits for Chinese propaganda intended to manipulate public perceptions in Taiwan.
“Retired Taiwanese military officers have visited China in an individual capacity for many years,” writes John Dotson, a research coordinator on the staff of the congressionally mandated US-China Economic and Security Review Commission in the latest issue of the Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief.
“More organized exchanges between retired Chinese and Taiwanese flag officers — initiated primarily from the Chinese side — have expanded significantly in scale since 2009, he adds.
Although the Ministry of National Defense says it does not authorize such visits, it has done nothing to curb the practice, which has raised concerns among US defense officials over the potential for leaks of sensitive military information or the creation of a back channel for secret negotiations.
My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.