EP delegation to recommend Taiwan as hub to combat disinformation

11/05/2021 07:00 PM
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A press conference held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the visiting European Parliament delegation in Taipei Friday. CNA photo Nov. 5, 2021
A press conference held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the visiting European Parliament delegation in Taipei Friday. CNA photo Nov. 5, 2021

Taipei, Nov. 5 (CNA) The head of a visiting European Parliament (EP) delegation said Friday he believed Taiwan would be a perfect partner for the European Union (EU) as it considers building a hub to combat disinformation campaigns launched by authoritarian regimes.

"We can benefit a lot as Europeans form a closer cooperation with Taiwan in the fight against disinformation," said Raphaël Glucksmann at a press event at the conclusion of the delegation's three-day trip in Taiwan.

The EU is now considering building a hub to combat disinformation and the whole delegation agreed that "it should be Taiwan."

"That actually makes a lot of sense, the partnership should grow and get deeper and deeper," he said.

Glucksmann's delegation consisted of members of the EP's Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation (INGE), and they were in Taiwan to learn how Taiwan has built a strong democracy while facing high-level threats from China, he said.

Like Taiwan, Europe is facing large-scale actions orchestrated by an authoritarian regime to weaken its democracy, Glucksmann said, and in seeing Taiwan's successful example, the "idea of the whole society being involved in this fight is crucial for us."

The EP delegation is visiting Taiwan amid rising tensions across the Taiwan Strait. The visit drew a protest from Beijing, which sees Taiwan as part of its territory.

Asked if the delegation's trip, the first ever by an official EP delegation to Taiwan, could exacerbate existing tensions across the Taiwan Strait, Glucksmann said he believed their visit would have the opposite effect.

"We are really convinced that the more you have interaction between international community and Taiwan, the less dangerous the situation would be in the Strait," he said.

A trip to Taiwan or a high-level meeting with Taiwanese officials should be considered a normal thing instead of a provocation that adds fuel to the fire, he said.

He also said he and the other members of the delegation were not afraid of possible Chinese sanctions for their visit.

As EP members, they make their decisions and policies based solely on the interests of European citizens and the principles on which EU is built, he said.

"We don't make our decisions thinking what would be the reaction in any third country," including China, Glucksmann said.

The delegation, which arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday, was scheduled to conclude its trip later Friday.

The European Parliament said in a statement on the visit that Taiwan has succeeded in countering externally organised destabilisation campaigns by making its entire society more resilient while avoiding restrictions on freedom of expression.

The lesson the delegation drew from Taiwan’s experience in disinformation and destabilisation campaigns, mainly orchestrated by Chinese state actors, are going to feed into the ongoing work on the recommendations of the special committee, it said.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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Update

Nov. 7: Consensus on Europe-Taiwan cooperation led to visit: EP delegation head

Nov. 5: EP delegation to recommend Taiwan as hub to combat disinformation

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