ISSUE 93                                                                                         June 3, 2021
Taiwan Weekly
Reliable report and analysis of the most important issues in Taiwan
In This Issue
● This Week in Taiwan: 
Other Important Events This Week


China's Cognitive Warfare? Self-Directed by DPP
Lin Wei-feng, husband of Deputy Director Yang Min of the Social Media Center of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was exposed and criticized by Internet users for self-staging mainland China waging cognitive warfare campaigns against Taiwan. Pictured above is Lin's wedding photo with President Tsai Ing-wen.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

China’s Cognitive Warfare a Self-Staged Act? Prosecution to Promptly Investigate

China Times, May 26, 2021


The pro-government writer Lin Wei-feng was caught feigning to be pro-China, posting messages on PTT, a popular online bulletin board system, mocking Taiwan's epidemic prevention policy, and attacking the epidemic prevention platform created by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, thereby creating a fake impression that China is waging a cognitive war against Taiwan. The Taiwan High Prosecutors Office, Ministry of Justice (MOJ), assigned the case to the New Taipei City Prosecutor’s Office, which will direct relevant agencies to carry out investigation promptly and strictly. If the crime of spreading false information is established, then Lin may be sentenced to up to three years in prison.


According to the police investigation, about four or five accounts were used to publish articles attacking the "Disease Butler" platform on the popular “PTT Gossiping” board, Lin was the first to collect these articles and post messages on Facebook claiming that was China’s "cognitive war" in an attempt to influence public opinion against the mainland. Netizens launched a cyber hunt and found that Lin's Facebook and PTT accounts were both "bj26bj", and his clandestine operation was thus revealed.

Featured Editorial
According to a commentator, the DPP has often taken advantage of party flanks to create and disseminate false information, then have the government come forward to clarify and call for unity, in the process generating fear of China's cyber forces infiltrating Taiwan.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

DPP Plays Pro-China, Acting Out “Cognitive Warfare” Imagined by President Tsai

United Daily News Editorial, May 26, 2021


In an effort to divert the attention of the public from her administration’s poor performance in containing the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, President Tsai Ing-wen has recently played the card of "cognitive warfare," but this has unexpectedly exposed a litter of cockroaches within the ruling party’s own house.


Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu first claimed that the online forum PTT was infiltrated by China, which allegedly prompted Internet users to delete the account of the Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare. However, it was exposed by Internet users that the whole incident was self-staged by a DPP-friendly online writer, Lin Wei-feng, whose wife Yang Min currently serves as deputy director of the DPP’s Social Media Center. Now we know that President Tsai's so-called “cognitive warfare” by China was directed and faked by her own man.

read more



Featured Opinion
According to a scholar, the Tsai administration's manipulation of China's "cognitive warfare" and political handling of mainland vaccines indicate that "anti-China" is not merely an election tool but also a deeper hateful ideology.
(Photo from: China Times)

Vaccine Politics versus “Same Island, One Fate”

By Chao Chien-min

United Daily News, May 30, 2021


As the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen was preparing to celebrate the first anniversary of her second term, the recent wave of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections broke out in Taiwan, once acclaimed for being a role model in epidemic prevention. The public in Taiwan criticized the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) for its failure to acquire sufficient vaccine doses while prohibiting private organizations from purchasing. The Tsai administration’s pinpointing China’s “cognitive war” and politicizing mainland vaccines have exposed the ruling party’s confusion over its cross-strait policy.


I originally thought that manipulating the anti-China sentiment was a carefully crafted instrument by the Tsai administration in order to win elections. In the aftermath of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) local election defeat at the end of 2018, Tsai, in an abrupt move, equated the “One Country, Two Systems” formula with the “1992 Consensus” and then took advantage of the turmoil in Hong Kong to propagate a sense of national doom. She succeeded, with the side help of its cyber forces, at the end of the day, reversed the momentum and set a classic win in the election.

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This Week in Taiwan
Due to community transmission, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to develop. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that the nationwide level 3 epidemic alert  will extend until June 14.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
May 25: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continued to spread in Taiwan. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), announced that the third-level epidemic alert will be extended to June 14. Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung announced that suspension of classes will extend until June 14. 
May 26: The government has not done a satisfactory job procuring coronavirus vaccines. The Nantou County Government sent an official document to the CECC requesting that it permit the local government to purchase Pfizer vaccines distributed by Fosun Pharma, which is based in Shanghai, to administer to the public. County magistrates of Hsinchu, Changhua, and Yunlin also called upon the CECC to permit procurement by local governments. But President Tsai Ing-wen stressed that the procurement of vaccines must be coordinated by the central government, and it should be the central government which negotiates with the original manufacturer so as to avoid legal and political risks. 
May 26: In a press conference, outgoing Director Brent Christensen of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) commented on whether Taiwan will be eligible to receive some vaccines when the United States releases 80 million coronavirus vaccines to aid foreign countries. Christensen stated that the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan remains low, and the standards of dispatching vaccines are still being discussed. Upon hearing his remarks, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je blasted Christensen, saying that Taiwan has consumed American pork containing ractopamine and purchased arms, but 11 deaths do not mean much to the United States. Ko put it more bluntly: The number of deaths will become more serious if Taiwan has to wait until August for domestically produced vaccines. 
May 26: The CECC announced the strengthening of five major epidemic prevention measures. People who go out and fail to wear masks will be directly fined; and designated businesses like ballrooms, dance halls, restaurants, bars, cafes, and tea houses, are not permitted to operate and will incur heavy fines for any violation. Additionally, all food prepared by dining facilities are to be taken out. No wedding banquets and public funerals, and religious gatherings are allowed.
May 27: Former Vice President Annette Lu criticized that the CECC has failed to properly handle the pandemic. She demanded that Minister Chen Shih-chung be removed from the position of commander and Premier Su Tseng-chang assume that role. Lu also asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to request that the United States promptly allocate vaccines to Taiwan or else suspend the importation of American pork containing ractopamine. 
May 28: Taiwan purchased 5.05 million doses of vaccines from American pharmaceutical company Moderna. The first batch of 150,000 doses of Moderna vaccine arrived in Taiwan by air from Europe on the evening of May 28. The Food and Drug Administration, MOHW, stated that cold chain inspections and sampling have been completed in the evening. The vaccines were taken overnight to laboratory testing; testing should be completed by June 11; and first-line personnel such as physicians and nurses have priority to inoculate. This batch of vaccines was commissioned by Moderna to be manufactured in Madrid, Spain, and will not expire until November. 
May 29: The Buddha's Light International Association (BLIA) stated that it has officially applied on May 27 for approval to import between 200,000 and 500,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which the organization will donate to the CECC to inoculate medical, police, firefighter, and clergy personnel. Terry Gou, founder of Foxconn, also announced on Facebook that his YongLin Foundation will apply for approval 5 million BioNTech vaccines manufactured and packaged in Germany. If the government approves importation, the vaccines will be shipped directly to Taiwan by air. 
The CECC originally stated on May 28 that as long as eight major documents are submitted and approved by the central government, such vaccines may be used for epidemic prevention. But on May 29, the CECC announced that the procurement of vaccines should not go through a third hand. It needs to be the central government which contracts with the original manufacturer and coordinates the distribution. 
In an opinion submission to the media, Secretary-General Shih Chueh-pei of the BLIA asked the government to keep in mind the suffering of the common people. He said that saving time will save lives. If the government had the ability to sign a contract with the original manufacturer, why didn't it procure the vaccines in time? 
May 29: The pandemic in Taiwan continued to develop. The relaxation of quarantine requirements for airline crew members to three days isolation plus 11 days of self-health management is considered by many to be a primary loophole in the epidemic prevention. Responding to interpellation at the Legislative Yuan, Minister Chen Shih-chung stated that the meeting and decision were presided by Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Chun-yen, who serves as deputy commander of the CECC, and he was not aware. However, the media exposed that the deputy commander did not actually attend the April 13 meeting. Minister Chen admitted on May 29 that he had a wrong recollection. He presided over the meeting and will assume the responsibility.
Taiwan Weekly is a newsletter released every week by Fair Winds Foundation, Association of Foreign Relations, and Taipei Forum which provides coverage and perspectives on the latest developments in Taiwan.

The conclusions and recommendations of any Taiwan Weekly article are solely those of its author(s) and do not reflect the views of the institutions that publish the newsletter.

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