A woman crosses the street while wearing a protective mask following the recent rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in Taipei, Taiwan May 21, 2021 Photograph:( Reuters )
Taiwan has been praised for its response to the pandemic and has managed to keep cases under control since the first outbreak in Wuhan, China
A Taiwanese official on Saturday accused China of spreading fake news about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The official said that the country is undertaking public measures to ward off misinformation that is circulating on social media platforms, for which they blame China.
Taiwan has been praised for its response to the pandemic and has managed to keep cases under control since the first outbreak in Wuhan, China. But amid fears of variants and fresh cases, the island country has put out several stay-at-home orders and many public venues are now shut.
On multiple occasions, Taiwan has blamed China for using “cognitive warfare” to undermine public faith in the country’s response to the pandemic. China claims Taiwan as its own island and believes the territory ought to be merged with China, even if force is required.
Chen Tsung-yen, Taiwan’s Deputy Minister of the Interior was cited by Reuters as saying that the country’s officials feel that there is considerable danger from Chinese propaganda and misinformation against Taiwan. "The reason we are continuing to explain the contents of the fake information to everyone is to call attention to it. We must immediately intercept this, and not let cognitive warfare affect Taiwan's society," Tsung-yen said.
Citing examples of Chinese propaganda, the official pointed to online reports claiming that Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen was recently infected with Covid and that the government was hiding the information. "I want to say to everyone that this is really vile fake news," he added.
Earlier this week, Tsai tested negative for COVID-19 after one of her residence workers tested positive for the virus.
As part of the so-called cognitive warfare, China is reportedly trying to “create chaos” about the state of the pandemic in the island country.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office told Reuters on Thursday that such accusations were “imaginary”, constituent of the government’s aim to cover-up its issues.