|Taiwan flag. REUTERS|
DELTASION.com – In recent news, Friday 21 July 2023, Taiwan has found
itself embroiled in a sensitive investigation regarding possible leaks of
official documents, including diplomatic cables and classified reports related to its bid to join a global trade pact.
This article delves deep into the unfolding situation, providing a
comprehensive overview of the events, investigations, and implications
surrounding the leaked documents and
China’s alleged involvement.
Preliminary Findings and Authenticity
According to reports from Reuters, two officials familiar with the
investigation have indicated that parts of the leaked documents, which were
posted on the online message board 8kun, appear to be genuine, while other
parts may have been forged. However, specific details about the forgeries
have not been disclosed yet.
An official source revealed that some of the documents seem “authentic,”
but the origin of the shared documents remains unclear. The National
Security Bureau (NSB) of Taiwan confirmed the investigation into these
“suspicious government documents” that surfaced on the internet.
Involvement of China
Given the sensitive nature of the documents and Taiwan’s bid to join the
Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership
(CPTPP), the NSB is also looking into the possibility of China’s involvement
in the incident. It is important to note that China claims Taiwan as its own
territory and strongly opposes its membership in international organizations
As of now, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not issued any official
statement regarding the leaked documents or its potential role in the
matter. The situation adds further strain to the already complex
relationship between Taiwan and China.
Contents of the Leaked Documents
The leaked documents posted online comprise a range of sensitive
information. Notably, there is a purported “security assessment” from
Taiwan’s intelligence agency, the National Security Bureau, regarding
Taiwan’s bid to join the CPTPP. This assessment, dating back to October,
provides insights into the challenges and opportunities that Taiwan might
face during the accession process.
Additionally, the leaked documents include diplomatic cables from Taiwan’s
de facto embassies in Japan and Vietnam, focusing on issues related to both
China and Taiwan’s applications to join the CPTPP. Another significant
classified report pertains to Taiwan’s trade negotiations with the United
States, sent by Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Washington.
The Complexity of CPTPP Membership
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership
(CPTPP) is a trade pact involving 11 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada,
Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
With England’s impending inclusion, the partnership is set to have a
significant impact on the global economic landscape.
While Taiwan and China both signed up in 2021 to join the CPTPP, their
applications have raised contentious debates. China staunchly opposes
Taiwan’s independent participation in international organizations, arguing
that Taiwan is an integral part of China and, thus, ineligible for separate
Contrarily, Taiwan asserts its right to participate independently, pointing
to its membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) under the
designation “Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu.” This issue of sovereignty
is at the core of the discord between the two territories.
Taiwan’s Sovereign Standpoint
Taiwan, home to approximately 23 million people, steadfastly rejects
China’s claims of sovereignty. The island nation believes that only the
Taiwanese people have the rightful authority to determine their own future
and political status. The tension between Taiwan and China has long been a
matter of international concern, especially when it comes to Taiwan’s global
participation and recognition.
Rising Concerns of Hacking and Cyber Attacks
As Taiwan prepares for its presidential election scheduled for January
2024, the island faces growing concerns over hacking and cyber attacks.
President Tsai Ing-wen, leading the ruling party, has voiced apprehensions
about China’s attempts to influence public opinion ahead of the crucial
With the potential to disrupt the democratic process, cyber threats have
become a major focus for Taiwan’s National Security Bureau and other
relevant authorities. Ensuring the integrity of the election and
safeguarding sensitive information is of utmost importance.