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Senior security official warns of election interference from China

11/01/2023 08:50 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 1 (CNA) China is employing more diverse election meddling tactics ahead of Taiwan's presidential and legislative elections next January, using short videos to amplify livelihood issues and influence public opinion, a senior Taiwanese security official warned Wednesday.

Wellington Koo (顧立雄), secretary-general of the National Security Council, said during a legislative session that Beijing has extended its reach from state-run to social media platforms.

In the format of short videos, Beijing's propaganda is becoming more prevalent on TikTok, Xiaohongshu and YouTube via "coordinating accounts" to distribute content taken and edited from Taiwanese media, Koo said, but did not offer any specific examples.

In particular, an increasing amount of misinformation centered on livelihood issues has been produced due to their "complicated nature," Koo said.

"Such incomplete and asymmetrical information can easily affect cognition, especially because young people nowadays prefer to watch short videos," according to Koo.

When asked by lawmakers to name the local media outlets that have been cooperating with Beijing to interfere in the Jan. 13 elections, Koo said only that while there were some individuals and polling companies involved, he did not have a full list.

(By Matt Yu, Yeh Su-ping and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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