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China engaged in spreading fake news in Taiwan: NSB official

ROC Central News Agency

2018/12/10 17:37:44

Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) Although there is no evidence China meddled in Taiwan's Nov. 24 local elections, Beijing and foreign-based forces frequently spread fake news in Taiwan, a National Security Bureau (NSB) official said Monday.

In particular, China tends to take advantage of controversial incidents in Taiwan to spread deliberately fabricated misinformation via affiliated or like-minded platforms, an NSB official surnamed Yang (楊) told a legislative hearing.

Yang was responding to questions at the Legislative Yuan's Foreign and National Defense Committee from Kuomintang lawmaker Lu Yu-ling (呂玉玲).

Lu noted that during the run-up to the local elections, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)and many other senior officials had openly accused China of using fake news to try to influence the polls.

However, at a legislative hearing on Nov. 26, NSB Director-General Peng Sheng-chu (彭勝竹) said only two pieces of "fake news" had been identified in recent months and they had little influence on the local elections, Lu pointed out.

She said the discrepancy shows that intelligence collected by the NSB must be "quite detached from reality."

She proposed that NT$11 million (US$357,000) of the NSB's 2019 budget be frozen until the bureau makes a full report on the issue to the committee and gains its approval.

(By Wang Cheng-chung and Flor Wang)

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