China is spreading fake news about the Covid-19 situation in Taiwan, alleged a Taiwanese official. This is the reason that publicising and refuting some of the instances of false information that have been circulating online is being done by the government of the island.
There has been a surge in domestic infections in recent times in Taiwan after the government managed to keeping the pandemic under control after months. The government has put the entire island under a heightened state of alert with residents asked to stay indoors and the shutting down of many venues.
China is trying to use “cognitive warfare” in an effort to undermine trust in the government and its response to the pandemic, Taiwan has repeatedly warned about China. Beijing considers the democratically governed island as its own.
They had “clearly felt” the danger being spread by Chinese propaganda and misinformation against Taiwan, said Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen while speaking to reporters.
“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,” he added.
Social media posts and fake news such as one which claimed that Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen had been infected and the government was covering it up are being circulated online, said Chen listed examples of Chinese fake news.
“I want to say to everyone that this is really vile fake news,” he said.
A worker at the residence of Tsai was confirmed to be infected with Covid-19 earlier but Tsai tested negative for Covfid-19 test this week.
China was engaged in cognitive warfare to “create chaos” and undermine the trust of the Taiwanese public in the manner in which the pandemic was being handled, believed the Taipei government, said a security official watching Chinese activity in Taiwan while talking to the news agency Reuters this week.
Taiwan’s accusations were “imaginary”, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office told Reuters in a statement on Thursday whish also added that the Taiwanese government was trying attention diversion tactics away from the real issues of the island.
It added that Taiwan should “stop playing political games, and take practical measures to control the pandemic as soon as possible”.
The current weekend was critical in breaking the chain of transmission of the pandemic, Taiwan said, and urged residents to remain indoors.
The health ministry brought out its social media dog mascot, a shiba inu called Zongchai, to suggest songs about being alone people could sing at home to keep themselves entertained, like Taiwanese rocker Wu Bai’s hit “Lonely Tree, Lonely Bird”.
“At the weekend, don’t go out unless absolutely necessary,” the ministry said, showing Zongchai wearing glasses in front of a microphone.
(Adapted from VOA.com)