Taiwan's government believes China is set to renew a charm offensive targeting "opinion leaders" to win hearts and minds as the island gears up for a presidential election in less than a year, a security agency said in an internal report.

China, which views democratically governed Taiwan as its own, has long taken a carrot and stick approach to the island, threatening it with the prospect of military action while reaching out to those it believes are amenable to Beijing's point of view.

As Taipei and Beijing gradually resume travel links halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan security officials expect China to relaunch an influence campaign that in the past included all-expenses-paid trips to China for Taiwan politicians.