‘Humor rather than rumour’: Taiwan considers Ukraine’s courier model if China attacks

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TAIPEI, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Taiwan is examining ways Ukraine can communicate its message to the outside world in times of conflict, using tools such as satellites and deploying humour, the digital minister said on Wednesday. .

China’s war games and blockade drills around Taiwan last month, following a visit to Taipei by US President Nancy Pelosi, have heightened concerns on the island over the prospect of a attacked by its neighboring giant.

“We are looking at the experience of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. We found that the whole world can know what is happening there in real time,” Audrey Tang, head of Taiwan’s new ministry, told Reuters. digital business.

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Ukraine has effectively conveyed its message to the world, Tang said, adding that maintaining high-quality, real-time communication was critical to its efforts.

“It’s not just for our own people, but also for people who care about us all over the world, so that we can get help from international friends.”

China considers Taiwan, governed democratically, as its own territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under Beijing’s control. The Taiwan government firmly rejects China’s sovereignty claims.

Among Tang’s plans to preserve communications in the event of attacks in China is a satellite testing program worth $550 million ($18 million) over the next two years to ensure Internet services across Taiwan.

The goal, she said, was to maintain social stability and keep Taiwan’s command systems functioning by “instantly” switching to other forms of communication, such as medium and lower orbit satellite. .

Several Taiwanese companies are in talks with international satellite service providers, seeking partnerships after the service is legalized in Taiwan, she added, but did not give details.

Ukraine, for example, uses Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite broadband service. Read more

Tang has helped craft Taiwan’s public messaging for the COVID-19 pandemic, using memes and humor to combat misinformation, which the government has accused China of spreading, though Beijing has denied.

“We say very publicly that our playbook is ‘humor over rumor,'” she said.

“As we saw with the Ukrainian example, there are also people who are using even comedy ideas, but certainly internet memes, to spread a message that brings people together.”

A prolific Twitter user with more than 250,000 followers, Tang said she was unbothered by online attacks, which may include accusations that she is a separatist.

Chinese state media makes heavy use of Twitter and other Western social media platforms, even though they are banned in China. Read more

Asked about China’s use of social media in its messaging campaign against Taiwan in the event of war, Tang said it was already happening.

“From my point of view, it’s my daily life. Already, the kind of propaganda as you call it, the kind of stories that are circulating on Twitter, that’s already what we face on a daily basis.”

($1 = 31.1130 Taiwan dollars)

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Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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