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CORRESPONDENT

Taiwan Battles Record Fake News Onslaught From China

John Gizzi By Tuesday, 21 May 2024 08:26 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

As it inaugurates a new president and vice president this week, Taiwan is the target of what the head of its FactCheck Center calls a "record onslaught of misinformation disguised as genuine news reports.

"And that all originates from China," Dr. Eve Chiu, chief executive and editor-in-chief of the Taiwan FactCheck Center, told Newsmax on Tuesday in Taipei.

The non-profit Center works to catch the "fake news" coming from the mainland and correct the record as soon as possible, explained Chiu.

Likening some of the onslaught to the doctored photographs of the United Kingdom's Princess Kate during her recent convalescence in a hospital, Chiu showed a photo of a Chinese sailor looking at a Taiwanese ship seemingly close to the shore.

"That's totally fake," she told us, adding the suggestion that Taiwan was poised for an attack on the mainland was carried by the doctored photograph that her organization moved quickly to expose.

Chiu added that there was also a story on-line that Taiwan would send weapons to Israel, accompanied by a photograph of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulating his son on enlisting in the IDF (Israeli Defense Force). This, too, was "totally fake," but Chiu pointed out that many will take reports like that as fact because "they are posted under the headings of the Washington Post or Radio France International or several real news outlets."

China does not limit itself to on-line news in disseminating false stories. One TV report of Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., making a positive case about China turns out to be a dubbed voice of the lawmaker – who, in the actual news film, was discussing U.S. tax policy and not saying a word about foreign policy.

One recent case cited by Chiu is one in which "our relationship with India is growing better and its government is talking about sending Indian labor to Taiwan, articles appeared on social media warning of public health hazards that start with the Indian people's lax hygiene habits and how Indian labor often brings sexual violence against women.

In her words, "this is hate speech but it is sent out as legitimate news to sow domestic chaos."

Another popular topic for dissemination in Taiwan is that of linking the U.S. to Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) "to try to start a war." Widespread reports to that effect found their way during the recent national elections in which the DPP won for a third time in a row. (The opposition Kuomintang Party does not support Chinese unification but doesn't want to make China angry and would thus presumed to be the beneficiary of the Chinese propaganda assault).

Does China spread its fake news reports to neighboring nations in the Pacific such as Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea, Newsmax asked Chiu.

"They are not just in Taiwan but around the world," she told us, "The Chinese want hegemony [in the Pacific]. But for now, Taiwan is very important to them."

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
As it inaugurates a new president and vice president this week, Taiwan is the target of what the head of its FactCheck Center calls a "record onslaught of misinformation disguised as genuine news reports.
taiwan, fake news, factcheck center, israel, china, misinformation
493
2024-26-21
Tuesday, 21 May 2024 08:26 PM
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