Paid ‘news’: China using Taiwan media to win hearts and minds on island – sources

Date: August 9, 2019
By: Yimou Lee, I-hwa Cheng

FILE PHOTO: A banner is reflected on a polished surface as Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) speaks during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan” at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China January 2, 2019. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The articles on the website of the leading Taiwan newspaper were gushing about a new Chinese government program to lure Taiwanese entrepreneurs to the mainland.

China “treated Taiwanese businessmen like its own people,” one of the articles said, citing “multiple perks”. Far from being a threat to Taiwan, the program to give economic incentives to Taiwanese to start businesses in the mainland was an “unprecedented” opportunity, it said.

While the articles were presented as straight news, they were actually paid for by the Chinese government, according to a person with direct knowledge of the arrangement and internal documents from the Taipei-based newspaper.

The placement of the articles was part of a broader campaign by China to burnish its image in the Taiwanese media as part of efforts to win hearts and minds in Taiwan for China’s “reunification” agenda.    [FULL  STORY]

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