Taiwan News: US Warns on Chinese Fake News as Tsai Opens Cyber Security Center

Taiwan News: US Warns on Chinese Fake News as Tsai Opens Cyber Security Center
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The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said late Wednesday that Beijing is carrying out extensive "United Front" work to undermine Taiwan's democracy by spreading fake news through social media and other online platforms.

In its annual report to Congress, the commission describes United Front work as a strategy designed by Beijing for "controlling, mobilizing and utilizing" non-Chinese Communist Party entities to serve its goals.

The report, which quoted Peter Mattis, a research fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, said that China is carrying out extensive United Front work and other political warfare activities against Taiwan, including supporting opposition political parties and spreading disinformation.

According to the commission these activities are intended to help Beijing build alliances between individuals and groups within Taiwan and undermine President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)'s administration and Taiwan's democracy in general.

Meanwhile, President Tsai presided over the opening of the National Communications and Cyber Security Center (NCCSC) – and said the new task force will ensure Taiwan is better protected from cyber attacks.

According to Tsai, the center will also ensure Taiwan's security and competitiveness at a time when information security stands plays a hugely important element national defense needs.

Tsai went on to say the center will help the government deal with information security management matters and be able to respond quicker to cyber attacks, while expressing confidence that the government will better deal with information security management, computer attack responses, and collaboration with international partners in cyber security, as a result of the establishment of the NCCSC.

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Members of Taiwan's delegation to the APEC Ministers Meeting in Papua New Guinea are engaging in what officials are describing as "warm interactions" with representatives from other member countries.

The APEC Ministers Meeting opened Thursday in Port Moresby.

Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中) and National Development Council Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) took the opportunity to greet representatives from other countries at the opening ceremony.

Deng shook hands with the Vietnam representative and exchanged business cards with the Singaporean delegate, while Chen talked briefly with Alan Bollard, executive director of the APEC Secretariat based in Singapore, and the Japan representative.

Both Deng and Chen say they plan to take every opportunity on the sidelines of the APEC meetings to hold talks with representatives from other countries.

Taiwan representative to the APEC leasers' meeting Morris Chang (張忠謀), the retired founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., departed Taiwan for Papua New Guinea today, promising to present Taiwan's best face as he meets with representatives from other countries, beginning with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Dialogue on Nov. 17, which will feature representatives from Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

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Credit: Reuters / TPG
Traditional dancers from the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea wait for Chinese President Xi Jinping to arrive ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Nov. 15, 2018.

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Aviation Safety Council Chairman Young Hong-tsu (楊宏智) said Thursday that the government hopes to establish a National Transportation Safety Board within two years.

The new agency will be responsible for conducting independent investigations into all major accidents involving land, sea and air transportation services.

According to Young, the proposal to establish the new agency will now be sent to the Legislature for review and is expected to be passed before the end of the current session.

The move was prompted by the derailment of a Puyuma Express train in Yilan County last month that killed 18 people.

And the government said it hopes the new agency will promote transportation safety through independent, objective, professional and transparent investigation into major accidents.

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Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) will visit the Marshall Islands next week to attend events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two sides.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wu was invited to the attend the Nov. 20 event by his Marshall Islands counterpart John Silk.

Wu will be heading a delegation that also includes representatives from the Taipei Medical University's Shuang Ho Hospital, the Ocean Affairs Council, the Coast Guard Administration and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council.

Wu will meet with Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine and her Cabinet.

The trip comes at a sensitive time as Heine narrowly survived a vote of no confidence on Monday, which she has alleged was orchestrated by Chinese-backed business interests.

The foreign ministry said Wu's trip was arranged six months ago to coincide with the anniversary celebrations and in unrelated to the no-confidence vote.

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The Council of Agriculture is ordering local e-commerce companies to remove Chinese meat products from their websites.

The move is part of government efforts to prevent the spread of African swine fever from China to Taiwan

Deputy Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said companies including PC Home, Yahoo and Shopee have been informed of the ban and the government is also seeking increased cooperation between it and the private sector to stop the spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, Ocean Affairs Council chief Hwung Hwung-hweng (黃煌煇) has said he will resign if the African swine fever virus enters Taiwan via smuggled Chinese meat products coming in by sea.

While the Coast Guard Administration Director-General Lee Chung-wei (李仲威) said his agency is now conducting regular patrols, but has not found any boats carrying live pigs or pork from China.

The African swine fever outbreak in China has been reported across 17 provinces, cities and areas there.

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攝影:陳文姿
Deputy Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung (C) is intent on preventing African swine fever from entering Taiwan.

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Taichung City government Deputy Secretary-General Kuo Kun-ming (郭坤明) said the World Flora Exposition will be closed on election day.

According to Kuo, who also serves as the expo's CEO, the decision to close all the flora show's venues is aimed at ensure the voting rights of the people working at the event.

The expo will re-open as normal on Sunday, Nov. 25.

City officials said the Flora Expo has attracted 626,180 visitors since it opened on Nov. 3.

Taichung's Transportation Bureau said the number of visitors is expected to rise sharply in the coming months as schools go into winter vacation and the Lunar New Year holiday comes up in February.

The expo will only be closed for one day during the Lunar New Year holiday.

The Taichung World Flora Exposition is being held at three different venues and showcases 2,500 species of plants.

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Credit: TWFE Facebook
The Taichung World Flower Expo site will be closed on election day next week.

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Several foreign airlines have began offering early check-in services for the Airport MRT.

The services are available at Taipei Main Station.

The carriers include Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, AirAsia, AirAsia X and Philippines AirAsia.

Outbound travelers on those airlines can check their luggage and obtain seat assignments and boarding passes before taking the MRT to the airport.

The service had previously only be available to passengers flying on China Airlines, EVA Airways, Mandarin Airlines and UNI Airways.

Taoyuan International Airport Corporation said that Japan Asia Airways and Thai AirAsia will offer the early check-in service sometime "in the future."

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Two universities from Taiwan have been included in the 2018 Times Higher Education's Global University Employability Ranking.

The National Taiwan University is the highest ranked at 101st – and that's up from last year's ranking of 122nd.

The National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, which was the best performing university from Taiwan last year, dropped from 65th to 124th place in the rankings this year.

Meanwhile, the National Qing Hua University and the National Jiao Tong University both dropped out of the list this year.

A total of 150 universities worldwide are ranked in the annual survey, which reflects the opinions of human resources executives on which universities are best at ensuring students are prepared for the workplace.

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Local actors Roy Qiu (邱澤) and Hsieh Ying-xuan (謝盈萱) being tipped to win the top prizes in the best actor and actress categories at this weekend's Golden Horse Award's ceremony.

All the other nominees in the lead role categories at the 55th Golden Horse Awards are from China.

Qiu and Hsieh starred in the movie "Dear EX" and won the top awards at the Taipei Film Awards in June.

"Dear EX" is a story about a gay romance, and Hsieh plays a woman whose dead husband bequeathed his assets to his secret gay lover, who is played by Qiu.

The Golden Horse Awards ceremony takes place tomorrow at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei.

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The 2019 New Year's Day fireworks at the Taipei 101 will be longer than last year and festivities will also include a series of parties starting from the end of this month.

According to Taipei Financial Center Corporation, New Year's Day fireworks display will last longer than five minutes this year.

And it will include animations and music prepared by award-winning Taiwanese groups and well-known local celebrities hosting the New Year countdown.

Read Next: Taiwan Is Building Long Range Cruise Missiles That Aim Deep Inside China

This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.

Editor: David Green (@DavidPeterGreen)

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