Taiwan, which holds presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 11, says it is particularly vulnerable to influence-peddling by its giant, autocratic neighbor China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, to be brought under Beijing’s rule by force if need be.
“Taiwan is a democratic, open society. They are using our freedom and openness, bringing in news that is not beneficial to the government,” Chiu Chui-cheng, deputy head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, told Reuters, referring to China.
“They are seeking to confuse the perception of people. It’s a perception war,” he said. “Mainland China uses organizations in Taiwan to help disseminate fake news.”
But the Kuomintang and its presidential candidate, Han Kuo-yu, lagging in the polls behind President Tsai Ing-wen, say voters should focus on what the ruling party is doing to muddy the waters, and should stop trying to “smear them red” – a reference to the colors of China’s Communist Party.
“Have a look on the internet, isn’t about more than 90 percent of online news attacks against Han Kuo-yu?” Han’s campaign spokeswoman, Anne Wang, told Reuters.
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