(Bloomberg) -- A think-tank run by Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party has named the chairman of iPhone assembler Pegatron Corp. to its board, a move that could draw scrutiny from China. 

New Frontier Foundation announced the appointment of T. H. Tung as vice chairman on Tuesday at a time Pegatron is actively seeking to diversify its production away from China, including by setting up an iPhone plant in India. However, the smaller rival to Foxconn Technology Group is still keeping the majority of its iPhone production in the eastern Chinese cities of Shanghai and Kunshan. 

The chairman of the think-tank is Vice President Lai Ching-te, who has in the past described himself as a “political worker for Taiwanese independence.”

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Tung’s new post could add to the uncertainties for Apple and its supply chain in China following a year of coping with unprecedented, Covid-induced challenges in the country. In Pegatron’s case, the company had to halt iPhone production at one point. 

While around 42% of Pegatron’s fixed assets are in China, according to the company’s 2021 annual report, Tung played down the potential impact the manufacturer could face from his new appointment in a statement late Tuesday.

“The foundation has invited industry professionals to participate in its operations to include more diversified views in addition to those from the political sector,” he said. “It is normal for a person to express and contribute views in a democratic society.” 

China claims Taiwan as part of its territory. Chinese officials frequently criticize its President Tsai Ing-wen and her party for their view that the island is politically separate from China, and threaten to use force to prevent Taiwan’s formal independence. 

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In recent months, Beijing has ramped up pressure on the government in Taipei by banning the imports of various Taiwanese goods and increasing military drills and incursions around the island following a visit by then U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in August. 

During Pelosi’s visit, Pegatron Vice Chairman Jason Cheng joined other business luminaries, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. founder Morris Chang and Chairman Mark Liu, at a luncheon hosted by Tsai for the former US house speaker despite Beijing’s forceful opposition to her trip. Foxconn executives did not attend the event. 

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