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China training Taiwanese influencers in new propaganda tactics

Beijing employing Taiwanese youths to shape favorable opinion towards China

(YouTube, Xiamen Star video screenshot )

(YouTube, Xiamen Star video screenshot )

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China is allegedly engaging in a new type of cognitive warfare against Taiwan that involves fostering Taiwanese influencers to push its narratives.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has embarked on a campaign to cultivate online streamers and anchors from Taiwan to sway public opinion in its favor, reported CNA, citing sources familiar with national security matters.

The tactic of promoting opinion leaders is conducted via a variety of internet streamer competitions hosted by Taiwanese business associations across China, including those in Zhejiang and Fujian provinces as well as in Xiamen City. Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang, for example, will be grooming one thousand Taiwanese youths, drawn from the ranks of university students and entertainers, to become the next online celebrities between 2020 and 2022.

Meanwhile, Beijing is galvanizing Taiwanese based in China to foster positive views toward the country as part of its propaganda. A series of short films featuring the success stories of such figures was aired in April of 2020 by state media outlets China Media Group and for this purpose.

To win the hearts of the Taiwanese, the CCP has targeted a wide range of media popular among young people as channels through which to advance its agenda. In addition to Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Kuaishou, and podcasts, it has also been developing new mobile applications to shape online discussions, warned Taiwan’s national security sector.