Broadcasting Corp of China president Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) yesterday announced plans to organize training for 1,000 Internet celebrities to counter a similar program launched by China.
China has reportedly launched a program to train 1,000 Taiwanese Internet celebrities to bolster its influence on the nation.
Jaw, a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member, said that the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) fears regarding China’s influence via the Internet has been exaggerated, and the DPP has proven itself adept at using the Internet to influence others, citing the “1450” controversy.
The term “1450” — derived from a situation in 2019 in which the Council of Agriculture budgeted NT$14.5 million (US$512,802 at the current exchange rate) to hire four online content curators — has been used to sarcastically describe netizens allegedly paid by the DPP to criticize its opponents online.
Jaw said that 1,000 video streamers, podcasters and content creators on similar platforms would be trained to counter the Chinese project.
Hopefully, their influence would counter China’s efforts, he said.
“This is my first policy to involve young people,” he said.
Expressing lofty ideals and grand schemes to young people achieves nothing, Jaw said, adding: “You need to make them feel like they can contribute to society.”
Hopefully, the government would use his idea, as it has more funds and could work at a greater scale, he said, but added: “That which you will not do, I will.”
If the Chinese have good intentions, then it is an excellent idea, as China has a large market, Jaw said, adding that should the DPP be alarmed by Beijing’s plans, it should do something constructive in response.
Training content creators would provide them with a source of income, although the proposal is not aimed at “1450” influencers, he said.
“That program was an underhanded ploy, while I am proudly proposing a policy that benefits the nation,” Jaw said, adding that the two could not be more different.
Jaw, who last month rejoined the KMT after quitting the party nearly three decades ago, has said he plans to seek its nomination to run in the 2024 presidential election.
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