Taiwan probe reports of Chinese disinformation campaigns amid COVID-19 surge

·2-min read
China and Taiwan flags
China and Taiwan flags

Taipei [Taiwan], May 20 (ANI): The Taiwanese government is probing into reports of Chinese disinformation campaigns in an "effort to deepen internal conflicts in Taiwan" during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Taiwanese National Security agencies have confirmed that Beijing has ordered numerous disinformation attacks on Tawain, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng, Taiwan News reported. This comes as Taiwan is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Lo said there have been false media reports that Taiwanese Health Minister Chen Shih-chung had plans to raise the COVID-19 alert to level 3 as early as Tuesday last week, but that Premier Su Tseng-chang persuaded him to wait.

Sources should be verified before the information is published, Lo said, adding that the media should not become a wedge between the CECC and the premier.

Lo cited a report claiming that the disinfectant used by the Chemical Warfare Corps was highly toxic, saying that it sought to sow panic in society and undermine the public's trust in the military.

Beijing's use of disinformation and cognitive warfare is an effort to deepen internal conflicts in Taiwan, prolonging the time used to develop cures for the pandemic, decreasing Taiwanese manufacturing capability, and further destabilizing Taiwan's economy and the stock market, Taiwanese Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Lee Chun-yi said on Wednesday.

Since mid-September of last year, Beijing has stepped up its gray-zone tactics by regularly sending planes into Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), with most instances occurring in the southwest corner of the zone and usually consisting of one to three slow-flying turboprop planes.

Over the past few months, Taiwan has reported incursion by Chinese warplanes into ADIZ almost daily.

Last month, Taiwanese premier Su Tseng-chang termed the incursion by Chinese warplanes into Taiwan's ADIZ as "unnecessary" and "thoughtless".Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.

Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. China has threatened that "Taiwan's independence" means war. (ANI)

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