According to a Reuters report published Thursday, the PRC has pressured an influential Taiwanese rock band to make pro-Beijing comments to sway voters ahead of the island's January elections.1
Two Taiwan security officials have told the news agency that, as part of a pressure campaign, China is investigating allegations that the lead singer for Mayday — sometimes called the 'Asian Beatles' — had lip-synched at least five songs in a three-hour gig in Shanghai in mid-November.2
Despite authorities reportedly threatening the band with a fine for the illegal practice in mainland China, its members have declined to provide what was characterized as a 'political service' allegedly required as part of Beijing's influence operations.3
Meanwhile, a Chinese defense official has claimed that Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has purposely hyped up a military threat for electoral gains, adding that 'all necessary measures to resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity' would be taken.4
Furthermore, in his campaign literature distributed in Taipei, the DPP's presidential candidate's rival, Hou You-yi, concurred with Beijing's claims that Taiwan is a part of China and reiterated his opposition to Taiwan's independence.5
Earlier this week, Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping pledged to reunite Taiwan with the mainland, warning that the PRC would 'resolutely prevent anyone from splitting Taiwan from China in any way.'6
Pro-China narrative, as provided by Global Times. It's nonsensical to link the upcoming elections in the island of Taiwan with allegations that Mayday had lip-synched at tour concerts in mainland China. Given that the Law Enforcement on Cultural Market and the China Association of Performing Arts have stepped into this case only after the controversy became viral on Bilibili, the PRC's leading video-sharing platform, this probe isn't politically motivated.
Anti-China narrative, as provided by Focus Taiwan. Though seeming absurd at first, Beijing pressuring rock band Mayday to make pro-China comments would be in line with its open attempts to influence Taiwan's Jan. 13 elections — including the use of fake social media accounts on platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube. All Taiwanese parties must jointly condemn Beijing for trying to interfere and meddle in cultural activities.