tirsdag 31. desember 2019

Taiwan's citizens battle pro-China fake news campaigns as election nears

Citizen groups in Taiwan are fighting a Russian-style influence and misinformation campaign that is believed to originate across the strait in mainland China with just weeks to go before it votes for its next president,

Taiwan goes to the polls on 11 January to decide between two main candidates, incumbent president Tsai Ing-Wen of the Democratic Progressive party (DPP) under whom ties with Beijing have become fraught, and Han Kuo-Yu of the Kuomintang party (KMT), which advocates closer engagement with China.

The contest is in large part a referendum on the future of Taiwan’s relationship with Beijing, which sees the self-governed island as a renegade province that one day must return to the fold. Han is Beijing’s favoured candidate while Tsai’s party has been campaigning on the slogan: “Resist China, Defend Taiwan”. In a televised debate with her rivals for the job on Sunday, Tsai said China’s “expanding ambitions” were the biggest threat to its democracy.