A phone number associated with United Front groups involved with a controversial pro-China parade that was scheduled for this weekend has been linked to a campaign to recruit Taiwanese for a Communist Party school in Fujian going back to 2017.
Evidence just uncovered shows that the co-organizers of an aborted pro-unification event scheduled to take place in Taichung on April 13 are also involved in ongoing efforts to recruit Taiwanese for a Communist Party school in China.
The “2019 Peaceful Integration and Development Forum” (2019和平統一融合發展論壇), which was cancelled on Friday, was organized by the pro-unification Taiwan Red Party (中國台灣紅黨 ─ 红黨) and United Front Work Department-linked organizations, including the China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification (Taiwan) (CPPRC, 中國和平統一促進會 (台灣)) and the China Peace Development Association (中華和平發展促進會).
Now an ad, seen on various pro-unification Facebook forums and distributed on social media apps, provides the same cell phone number in Taiwan (0903316739) as the one used in the advertisements for the cancelled event in Taichung.
The school in question is the Communist Party School Fujian Provincial Party School — Taiwan Social Elite Class (中共黨校福建省委黨校台灣社會菁英班). One of the first appearances of the ad was observed on May 5, 2017, on Taiwanese Chinese Heart (台灣人中國心), one of hundreds of pro-unification Facebook forums created in recent years.
Among the qualifications for admission stated in the ad are “support for ‘one China’” and self-identification as a Chinese citizen. According to the ad, classes provide training on subjects such as Chinese law, Chinese economic theory, institutions, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), special economic zones, implementation, and practical experience sharing. Faculty comes from think tanks affiliated with the central leadership in Beijing.
The add states that the party school serves as an incubator of the central government, adding that the certificate can be used anywhere in the “Chinese mainland.”
According to journalist Melissa Chan, “China’s ruling Communist Party’s 80 million members attend special [Party] schools to learn party ideology at facilities that serve as a training ground for the next generation of Chinese leaders.”
Established on March 25, 2017, the Taiwan Red Party is one of 335 registered political parties in Taiwan. On of the stated aims of the party is to “integrate the majority of Taiwanese farmers and fishermen” (「統合廣大農漁工」).
The mounting evidence of proxy work on behalf of Chinese Communist Party-affiliated organs, which under the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area is arguably illegal, has resulted in calls on the government to fine or revoke the registered status of organizations and political entities engaged in such activities.
The 2019 Peaceful Integration and Development Forum was cancelled after immigration authorities deported Li Yi (李毅), the keynote speaker, on Friday for violating immigration laws as he had entered Taiwan on a multiple-entry tourist visa. According to a government source, Li has been PNG’d. A self-described U.S.-based sociologist with affiliations to Renmin University in Beijing, Li has been a vocal proponent of China’s annexation of Taiwan through use of force and the destruction of the country’s institutions. Organizers of the event claim the parade was cancelled “due to security concerns.”
The event also raised many legal issues which may have compelled the Ministry of the Interior to act. According to the Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR), Li’s advocacy of unification by military force “probably has already violated Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which has already become law” in Taiwan, which bans “any propaganda for war” or “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.”
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