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Chinese propaganda film on Taiwan unlikely to bear fruit: Scholar

05/21/2024 05:26 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, May 20 (CNA) A new film by Chinese state broadcaster CGTN promoting the views of several pro-China Taiwanese is unlikely to prove persuasive to a Taiwanese audience, a local scholar said Monday.

Taiwan Thinktank researcher Wu Se-chih (吳瑟致) made the assessment to CNA about "Taiwan Untangled," a 21-minute documentary-style film released online Saturday focusing on the "one-China principle," by which Beijing claims Taiwan as an inalienable part of China.

The film -- in English with traditional Chinese subtitles -- was produced by CGTN and is narrated by U.K. Member of Parliament George Galloway.

Youtube thumbnail of Taiwan Untangled. Graphic taken from CGTN Youtube
Youtube thumbnail of Taiwan Untangled. Graphic taken from CGTN Youtube

It features interviews with Wang Ping-chung (王炳忠), a former spokesperson for the pro-unification New Party; Chen Fu-yu (陳福裕), the head of Chaiwan Ben Post; and Chen Chong-chen (陳崇真), a Taipei resident.

Wu told CNA the film adopts a technique commonly employed by China, which is to use the voices of foreign nationals to amplify Beijing's views.

The effect achieved by this model is actually very limited, however, given that most of the people featured in the film hew closely to standard Chinese talking points, he said.

Moreover, because of the diversity of media content available nowadays, viewers seldom rely on a single source to form their opinions, said Wu, who is also an assistant professor at the Taipei University of Marine Technology's Center for General Education.

Despite their limited impact, such propaganda projects might still be worthwhile to Beijing, since they are relatively cheap to produce and can still influence a small number of people, Wu said.

Rather than banning such content, however, Wu said Taiwan's government should instead issue timely rebuttals, to help people understand the dangers of Beijing's efforts to drive public opinion.

(By Lee Ya-wen, Tsao Yu-fan and Evelyn Kao)

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