Taiwan says China is spreading fake news during COVID-19 peak
TAIPEI – A Taiwanese official on Saturday accused China of spreading false information about the COVID-19 situation on the island, saying this was the reason the government was publishing and denying cases of false information circulating online .
After months of keeping the pandemic under control, Taiwan faces an increase in domestic infections, and the entire island is on heightened alert with people being urged to stay in their homes and many sites closed.
Taiwan has repeatedly warned that China, which claims the democratically ruled island as its own, is trying to use “cognitive warfare” in an attempt to undermine trust in the government and its response to the pandemic.
Speaking to reporters, Deputy Home Secretary Chen Tsung-yen said they “clearly felt” the danger of Chinese propaganda and disinformation against Taiwan.
“The reason we keep explaining the contents of fake news to everyone is to draw attention to it. We must immediately intercept this and not let the cognitive warfare affect Taiwanese society, ”he added.
Chen listed examples of what he said was false information circulating online, including Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen being infected and being covered up.
“I want to tell everyone this is really bad fake news,” he said.
Tsai tested negative this week after a worker at her residence was confirmed to be infected.
A security official monitoring Chinese activity in Taiwan said this week that the Taipei government believes Beijing is engaged in a cognitive war to “create chaos” and undermine public confidence in the way the pandemic is handled. .
The Chinese Taiwan Affairs Bureau, in a statement Thursday, said Taiwan’s accusations were “imaginary” and that the government was trying to distract from the real issues.
Taiwan should “stop playing political games and take practical steps to control the pandemic as soon as possible,” he added.
Taiwan says this weekend is key to breaking the chain of transmission and urged people to stay home.
The health ministry brought out its social media dog mascot, a shiba inu called Zongchai, to suggest songs about being alone that people could sing at home for entertainment, like the rocker’s hit. Taiwanese Wu Bai “Lonely Tree, Lonely Bird”.
“On weekends, only go out if absolutely necessary,” the ministry said, showing Zongchai wearing glasses in front of a microphone.
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