China has launched a disinformation campaign against outgoing Ministry of National Defense (MND) Political Warfare Bureau Director Chien Shih-wei (簡士偉), ministry officials said yesterday.
The campaign started on Friday with a report in the Zhonghua Shi Bao, a newspaper issued by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office in Fujian Province, on a delegation visit to Hawaii last month, the officials said.
The Taiwan-based China Times yesterday picked up the report in a front-page article titled “Political Warfare Bureau chief trip in US; under monitoring for the full itinerary.”
The article said the six-person delegation led by Chien spent their trip “touring, shopping, reveling and drinking at night entertainment spots.”
It said the delegation had been “fully monitored” throughout their trip, implying that they were under surveillance by Chinese intelligence officials.
The group visited restaurants, tourist spots, such as Pearl Harbor and Waikiki Beach, and took a ride on a yacht, it said.
The ministry said the two reports were false.
“This is a typical mode of operation for China,” it said, adding that the reports sought to “manipulate public opinion.”
They were “part of a Chinese propaganda campaign … seeking to interfere in Taiwan’s combat preparedness,” the ministry said.
“The Chinese government is seeking to exploit Taiwan’s media freedom for pushing fake news,” it said.
The ministry will continue to counter campaigns lauched by Chinese entities to create dissent in Taiwan, the ministry said.
However, the ministry did not dispute that the delegation also went to restaurants and shopping, but said that the focus of the trip was on meetings with US officials.
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