Publicity campaign to counter Chinese bullying

By Lee Hsin-fang  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Aug 05, 2018 - Page 1

A project to devise publicity to counter China’s isolation of Taiwan in the international community is under way, with preliminary plans including light-box advertising at international airports and the submission of opinion pieces to international media to convey the government’s stance, a source familiar with the matter said.

Light-box advertising is part of the government’s strategy to promote Taiwan, which is being devised by the National Security Council, while Premier William Lai (賴清德) has instructed the Executive Yuan’s Department of Information Services to mobilize writers to submit opinion pieces to international media to express the government’s stance on China’s bullying of the nation in the international community, the source said.

The project forms part of a stage-one strategy, the specifics of which are being worked out, the source added.

China this year has flown warplanes around Taiwan, poached two of the nation’s diplomatic allies, pressured 44 international airlines into changing the way they refer to Taiwan on their Web sites and revoked Taichung’s right to host the first East Asian Youth Games, which were scheduled for August next year.

Many of Taiwan’s friends in the US, EU and Japanese governments, as well as at think tanks, have said that China’s bullying of Taiwan does not have a high enough profile internationally and that channels to learn about such incidents are lacking, the source said.

On visits to Taiwan, these friends have suggested to the government that it improve the nation’s international promotion channels to underscore the values it embraces, such as democracy and diversity, the source said, adding that the government has acted on the suggestion.

Establishing effective promotion channels are part of bolstering national security, so it is reasonable for the council to undertake the task, the source said.

Last week at an internal Cabinet meeting, Lai ordered personnel to oversee the writing of opinion pieces and have them submitted to international media, such as the Washington Post, whenever the nation faces bullying by China to solicit international support for Taiwan, the source said.

The Executive Yuan would discuss details regarding such submissions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the source added.