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EP committee lauds Taiwan's ability to fight China's disinformation campaigns

INGE report calls for increased EU cooperation with Taiwan on combating interference operations, disinformation campaigns

(Pixabay image)

(Pixabay image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The European Parliament's Special Committee on Foreign Interference (INGE) on Tuesday (Jan. 25) released an amended report that stated that many Europeans are unaware of the serious threat of foreign authoritarian regimes such as China, affirmed Taiwan's achievements in resisting China's disinformation campaign, and encouraged the EU to cooperate with Taiwan.

During a session of INGE on Tuesday, 25 committee members voted in favor of amendments to the report, eight voted against, and one abstained. Since INGE had sent an official delegation to Taiwan for the first time in history last December, the results of the visit were also included in the report.

According to the report, many Europeans, including policy-makers and civil servants working in fields targeted by authoritarian regimes, particularly Russia and China, are "still unaware of the potential risks linked to foreign interference and how to address them." It stated that foreign interference in the EU's democracy has been exacerbated by inadequate defenses that allow malicious actors to gain access to critical infrastructure and launch cyberattacks, the co-opting of high-profile former politicians, and insufficient coordination among EU states.

The report recommends supporting pluralistic media, independent journalists, fact-checkers, banning foreign funding of European political parties, urgently improving cybersecurity, clarifying inappropriate relations between certain European political parties and Russia, and addressing Chinese funding for geopolitical objectives.

MEP Sandra Kalniete, who coordinated the compilation of the report, that day stated that their investigations had generated evidence of how malicious foreign actors were attacking democracies, and what she found more disturbing was the lack of "key awareness" not only by lawmakers, but by society as a whole, necessitating urgent action. Among the measures she recommended to address key vulnerabilities included holding online platforms accountable, regulating the data market, and strengthening civil society and independent media.

In addition, the results of the visit to Taiwan were also included in the report, indicating that, for example, Taiwan is at the forefront of China's manipulation of information and that government departments in Taiwan cooperate with independent NGOs and social media to debunk disinformation and curb the spread of manipulative messages. The report recognizes the best practices adopted by Taiwan and encourages the EU and its member states to deepen cooperation with Taiwan to combat interference operations and disinformation campaigns from "malign third countries."

The amended report is expected to be voted on at the March plenary session of the European Parliament.

Updated : 2022-05-20 07:15 GMT+08:00