MANILA, Philippines – A political insider has divulged with Makabansa.com that there is two (2) Filipino senatoriable candidates that has the high interest of China to win senate seats this 2019 midterm elections.
“China has an strategic and political interest with these two candidates, I believe they have already received serious financial backing from China,” said by the insider.
However, the insider refused to name the candidates whom China is rooting for but he hinted some clues.
“The first one is very aggressive on his political campaign, you’ll see him everywhere while the other one hails from the North, that’s all I can say”, added by the insider.
CHINA MEDDLING IN TAIWAN ELECTIONS LAST YEAR
Beijing targeted Taiwan with cyber operations to help the pro-China opposition Kuomintang win a swathe of midterm elections last October 2018 across the island, according to a leading U.S. cybersecurity company.
Fred Plan, senior analyst at FireEye, told the Nikkei Asian Review that while his firm is still investigating possible attacks that occurred ahead of last October vote, experience shows that China conducts cyber espionage in Taiwan, especially ahead of major political events.
“Elections are typically preceded by an increase in cyber operations targeting Taiwan and we expect this to be the case again,” Plan said. “Taiwan has always been a primary target of malicious cyber operations, especially from actors aligned with the People’s Republic of China.”
“I’d be very surprised if China wasn’t doing that” in the recent elections, he added.
The elections saw President Tsai Ing-wen’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s share of the 22 cities and counties on the island slump to six from 18 — a major blow to her prospects for re-election in 2020. The biggest surprise, however, was the sudden massive swing in the DPP’s southern bastion of Kaohsiung to little-known Kuomintang candidate Han Kuo-yu.
Before the elections, Tsai and her administration had been suggesting that China had interfered during the campaign. In recent speeches and on Facebook posts, Tsai has said that fake news from outside of Taiwan hurt the island’s democracy and influenced elections.
“Whether it be disseminating disinformation, illegally obtaining scientific and technical intelligence, maliciously damaging the information security system, intervening in the election process, or interfering with government operations, if there is irrefutable evidence of crime, the perpetrators will suffer serious consequences,” Tsai said in a speech on Oct. 10.
China, which views the self-ruled island as part of its territory, has increased military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan and has withheld visas for tourists to visit the island. At the same time, Taipei’s ties with Washington are at their closest in over a decade, with the U.S. also leveraging Taiwan-related issues in its battle for global dominance with China.
Beijing is now in a position to capitalize on the DPP’s major defeat to expand its influence on the island.