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Central News Agency to create online platform promoting Taiwan

Service aimed at introducing Taiwan’s many facets from official point of view

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(Facebook, @time.for.taiwan photo)

(Facebook, @time.for.taiwan photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The government-funded Central News Agency (CNA) has been commissioned by the Ministry of Culture (MOC) to create a precursor to an international online platform that promotes Taiwanese values and culture.

Operated as an over-the-top media service, the platform will seek to introduce Taiwan to the world from a broad range of perspectives. Democracy, freedom, economy, health and welfare, ecology, and tourism are among the aspects to be covered, said the MOC in a press release Monday (Sept. 21).

CNA, the nation’s official news agency, will incorporate its resources in news production with creative input from the private sector for the implementation of the project. NT$38.8 million (US$1.34 million) in funds have been earmarked for the initiative this year.

According to the MOC, the idea to establish an international channel for Taiwan has been conceived over two decades and finally came to fruition as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak has allowed the world to learn about the country’s strengths in handling a health crisis and presents an opportune time to further spread Taiwan’s values.

The MOC said it has secured Cabinet support to ensure the continuous operation of the streaming service in the years that follow.

The plan caused quite a stir in July when the Public Television Service (PTS), a free-to-air national TV station, was revealed to be the operator of the proposed platform. The company’s board expressed worry about its status as an independent broadcaster being eroded with the initiative, and the backlash led the MOC to drop the collaboration in favor of a new partner.