The Philippines Shift Production of Voting Machines to Taiwan in Fear of China’s Interference

The Philippines Shift Production of Voting Machines to Taiwan in Fear of China’s Interference
Photo Credit: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
What you need to know

Concerned that China might sabotage the country’s 2016 presidential election due to the South China Sea dispute, the Philippines decided to shift the production site of the voting machines from China to Taiwan.

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China and the Philippines have long been in conflict regarding the territorial dispute in the South China Sea. This April, the Philippine President Aquino III told AFP during an interview that in recent years, the Chinese government has been conducting a series of land reclamation projects on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. These projects hinder other countries to enter the international waters in the South China Sea and might set off a military conflict.

Since 2014, China has been conducting land reclamation projects, military defense and other related facilities in the South China Sea. According to the satellite images from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in the Washington DC, China has built a third runway on the disputed islands in the South China Sea.

Concerned that China might sabotage the country’s 2016 presidential election due to the South China Sea dispute, the Philippines decided to shift the production site of the voting machines from China to Taiwan.

CNA reports, member of the Philippines’ Commission on Elections, Christian Robert Lim, says that he feels that China is biggest threat to the Philippines’ presidential election next year.

Lim says that the Philippines has requested the contractor to shift the production of about 80 thousand voting machines to Taiwan from Suzhou, because they have received intelligence report that China might try to sabotage the election.

He says that since the South China Sea dispute is now going through international arbitration, there are various ways to sabotage the election. If Beijing imposes trade embargo on the Philippines, the voting machines will not be able to be shipped to the Philippines and will lead the election into chaos.

Interaksyon reports, spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines Li Ling-xiao says that China will not interfere with the internal affairs of other countries. There is no evidence to say that China attempts to disrupt the Philippines’ 2016 election.

Translated by Vic
Edited by Olivia Yang

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