Recently, 23 Taiwanese online media outlets simultaneously published a critical article of Tsai Ing-wen’s government. The report originated from the Taiwan Affairs Office of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), arousing public concern regarding the CCP’s infiltration into Taiwanese media.
The infiltration tactics, which is at once both secretive and open, can be broadly divided into four categories. Among them, the most threatening is to construct an information supply chain through PR companies’ united front business for Taiwanese media.
Reporters Without Borders, an international NGO, has released its 2019 ranking of press freedom, ranking Taiwan as having the second best press freedom in Asia only after South Korea. In recent years however, taking advantage of Taiwan’s press freedom, the CCP has influenced the direction of media coverage in Taiwan through various channels, thus affecting the public perception of the CCP regime among Taiwanese residents.
In addition to the well-known methods of bribing media with advertisements and inviting journalists to visit China, the CCP has also used PR companies in recent years to comprehensively influence Taiwan media and strengthen the scale of its united front work. It also controlled channels in Taiwan’s public entities through special means to directly influence the people.