torsdag 5. mars 2020

The Coronavirus Outbreak: How Democratic Taiwan Outperformed Authoritarian China

Whether China is stepping up propaganda or strengthening media and cyber controls, its primary goal is to maintain regime stability and social control, not to contain the virus outbreak. On the contrary, Taiwan, a country that has been excluded from the WHO for decades thanks to China’s political pressure, has demonstrated that the better way to contain the coronavirus is not to quarantine news about epidemic, but to make it easier and more convenient for people to access relevant information.

Even though Taiwan has not been kept officially informed by the WHO about the epidemic, the Taiwanese government promptly undertook measures to prevent the spread of the virus in Taiwan in late December last year, and organized the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) in January 2020. Since the set-up of the CECC, it has been holding a press conference almost every day to announce the latest policy and information on the epidemic, and to clarify rumors that are circulating on social media. 

The Taiwanese government also uses digital tools to communicate with the public amid the virus outbreak. For example, Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare and many Taiwanese politicians of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have used their official social media accounts on outlets like Facebook, LINE, and YouTube to keep the public well informed on everything from the number of available face masks to the updated policy.