Compared to the CCP’s military jingoism and propaganda-spreading “wolf warrior” diplomats, the United Front works behind the scenes, often targeting wealthy individuals with transnational holdings to do the CCP’s bidding through persuasion, economic incentives, and blackmail, or by funneling money toward grassroots organizations that shape opinions about the party among Taiwanese, Hong Kong, and expat Chinese communities.

Far more than an advocacy mechanism, United Front receives at least $1.4 billion each year from the CCP—the actual figure is likely much higher, as some budget details are classified. These funds may even outstrip the budgets for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Public Security, fueling the primary engine for the party’s gray-area influence efforts at home and abroad.

But it is in Taiwan and among the broader Taiwanese community where the United Front’s influence is most evident.