Taipei, China has been trying to sway next month's local government elections in Taiwan by employing tactics such as pouring money into the campaign coffers of candidates it favors, Leu Wen-jong (???), head of Taiwan's Investigation Bureau, said Monday.
In a legislative committee session, Leu told lawmakers that the bureau has received 33 pieces of intelligence that point to efforts by China to influence the Nov. 24 elections.
Some of the information has been verified as "solid evidence" in four cases of alleged vote-buying currently under investigation by Taiwan prosecutors, he said.
Pressed by lawmakers for details, Leu said Beijing had given money to some candidates' campaigns, and had invited some influential local community leaders to tour China in return for their backing of China's favored candidates.
Leu, however, declined to say more, on grounds that it was an ongoing investigation.
The four cases under investigation by prosecutors in Taipei, Changhua County, Yunlin County and Pingtung County are being treated as alleged vote-buying, according to the Investigation Bureau.
In a recent interview with the Liberty Times, Leu said the money from China was coming from the Taiwan Affairs Office of its State Council, the paper reported Monday.
Meanwhile, head of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council Chen Ming-tong (???) told reporters Monday that it is against Taiwan law for candidates to accept campaign donations from China. Such funding is prohibited under the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area and the Political Donations Act, he said.
The local government elections on Nov. 24 will select mayors and city councilors in the special municipalities of Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung; magistrates, mayors, councilors, town chiefs and town representatives in 16 other municipalities; and village and ward chiefs in 22 localities.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel