Virus Outbreak: Taiwan, US, Japan hold virtual ‘fake news’ forum

Taipei Times
Date: May 01, 2020
By: Lu Yi-hsuan and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writer

US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Robert Destro speaks at a virtual forum cohosted by Taiwan, the US and Japan on Wednesday.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Taiwan’s responsible and transparent handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has made the nation a leader in the Indo-Pacific region’s fight against the virus, unlike China’s disinformation campaign, US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Robert Destro told the opening of a virtual workshop cohosted by Taiwan, the US and Japan on Wednesday.

The workshop — held under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), which was first initiated by Taiwan and the US in 2015 — addressed how fake news about the coronavirus is spread online and what efforts can be taken to strengthen the ability of media organizations in the Indo-Pacific region to spot fake news.

The forum was attended by Destro, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉), American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen, Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Representative Hiroyasu Izumi and Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳), as well as nearly 80 experts from six other countries in the region and representatives from non-governmental organizations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

“It is no secret that Taiwan is leading the Indo-Pacific region in its handling of COVID-19. You are serving as an inspiration for the world and we are grateful for your leadership,” Destro said, adding that he was speaking on behalf of the US government from his home in Arlington, Virginia.

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