TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A report from the National Security Bureau (NSB) confirms that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has exercised spin control through partnered media outlets in Taiwan.
The report suggests the CCP’s influence permeates Taiwan’s electronic and print media, and the platforms of certain popular online figures.
“Response measures to China’s fake news psychological warfare,” a collaborative report between the NSB and the Ministry of Defense’s Political Warfare Bureau, was delivered to the Legislative Yuan on Thursday morning (May 2).
It states that the CCP manufactures specific content intended to divide Taiwanese society that is delivered directly through Taiwanese or partnered media outlets, according to the Central News Agency. Other outlets are then led to corroborate the spin reports, it claims.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) and Kuomintang legislator Lu Yu-ling (呂玉玲) questioned whether the bureau would publish a list of media outlets partnered with the CCP.
Deputy Chief of the bureau Chen Wen-fan (陳文凡) said the content, tone, reporting style and channels of certain Taiwanese online and print media outlets echo China’s rhetoric towards Taiwan. The NSB will continue to collect concrete evidence for competent authorities to analyze, he said.
“There is no doubt a partnered media outlet problem exists,” said Chen.
Lu questioned the validity of the findings, calling for a name list, and suggested the NSB may be the ones exercising spin control. Chen responded that a lot must be taken into consideration before publishing a name list, and some punches would need to be pulled with regards to intelligence work.
Publicizing a name list is therefore not a question of whether the NSB dares to or not, he said, but a question of whether it is able to. Chen reassured legislators that although he could not confirm the quantity of partnered media outlets, the NSB has the situation under control.
Fake news and disinformation is harmful to Taiwan, he said. The problem has not only come to be recognized by local citizens but has prompted concern from the international community.
DPP legislator Ho Hsin-chun (何欣純) called on the NSB to respect press freedom but ensure appropriate action is taken against those manufacturing disinformation and causing chaos in Taiwan.