Skip to main content

Posts

Taiwan Association Asks Government to Remove Street Names Honouring Former Dictator Chiang Kai-shek Ahead of 228 Crackdown Anniversary

A Taiwanese association has asked the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to change street names honouring former dictator Chiang Kai-shek in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan .  " Zhongzheng Road, Tainan City 20070408 " by  Ikaridon ,  licensed under  CC BY-SA 2.5 .

How to Talk about China? Government, People, and Cultural Understanding

On February 11, I read an interview by Financial Times' Europe-China correspondent Yuan Yang with Yale University Professor Jing Tsu on the role of cultural understanding in the midst of the power conflict between the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC).  "I think it’s very important to understand China from the inside," professor Tsu said. Recalling her reporting from the Beijing winter Olympics in February 2022 as NBC's cultural commentator, she remarked:  "Everyone wants to see China as totalitarian. I saw Chinese people: girls in hazmat suits posing for selfies. They see the machine; I see the cogs in the machine." I find these comments quite interesting, because they highlight a fundamental issue: how to talk about present-day China? From what perspective can we study and understand it? ___ " Old vs new, Shanghai Pudong " by  Lawrence Wang 王治钧  is licensed under  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 . _____ First of all, let me point out th

Apple Once Warned About an Orwellian Dystopia, Then It Embraced China's Dystopian Surveillance Dictatorship

" Apple Store@IFC Mall " by  SoQ錫濛譙  is licensed under  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 . _____ In 1983, Apple launched the now iconic "1984" TV commercial for the Apple Macintosh personal computer. The ad shows two lines of people marching through a grey underground corridor. They are wearing uniforms and act like automata, as if they had no will of their own. They enter a large hall, at the end of which is a giant screen. A speech by a dictator-like figure is being broadcast. "Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives," the man says. "We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology - where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory thoughts. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause ... We shall prevail!" A lone female runner disrupts the scene of op

Twitter Promoted Accounts and Chinese Government Propaganda

One of the biggest issues with social media today is the ease with which disinformation and propaganda can be disseminated effectively. It is also a very secretive way, because it can be difficult to find out the extent to which accounts spread their message organically or through advertising. 

Chinese Government Disinformation and Cognitive Warfare

Taiwan 's national security authorities have recently uncovered a cognitive cyberwarfare campaign conducted by the People's Republic of China (PRC) to flood the Facebook accounts of President Tsai Ing-wen and former premier Su Tseng-chang with derogatory comments. "The government found 825 Facebook accounts run by China’s cyberarmy that posted large numbers of anti-government comments on Tsai’s and Su’s Facebook pages," the Taipei Times reported on February 6.  The PRC claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to use force to achieve its goal . Disinformation, cognitive warfare and propaganda are part of Beijing's strategy to undermine Taiwan from within by manipulating public opinion and deriding Taiwan's close ties with the United States.   Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen visiting troops, via official Facebook profile   _____ According to the report, Beijing's cyberarmy follows several steps:  - creating fake accounts to post disinformation;

Conservative Icon? - William F. Buckley's Opposition to Civil Rights, Immigration and Multiculturalism

On October 6, 2005, President George W. Bush hosted an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Review magazine as well as the 80th birthday of its founder, William F. Buckley Jr.   Buckley - who has often been called a conservative "icon" - was lavishly praised by the President in his remarks. "Bill Buckley did have an influence on me when I followed him at Yale," Bush said . "The interesting thing about Bill Buckley's career is he's ... obviously, not idle ... He decided to do something, and he formed a magazine that helped move conservatism from the margins of American society into the Oval Office. That's a significant contribution ... I'm sure it's hard for some of the youngsters ... to imagine the day when the only conservative game in Washington, DC, was Bill Buckley and the National Review. And today, we've got, of course, an abundance of conservative

The Window Trick of Las Vegas Hotels

When I lived in Hong Kong I often passed by a residential apartment complex commonly known as the " monster building ".  " Interior of the Yick Cheong Building November 2016 " by  Nick-D  is licensed under  CC BY-SA 4.0 . _____

Florida's War on 'Leftist Ideologues' Is a War on Freedom

The party which once claimed to be for small government and free markets has taken off the mask, laying bare its true intentions.  On January 17, Florida's Republican Governor and Trustees of the State Board of Administration (SBA) approved measures to "protect Florida’s investments from woke environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG), ensuring that all investment decisions focus solely on maximizing the highest rate of return" (my emphasis).  " House Chamber, Florida State Capitol " by  StevenM_61  is licensed under  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 . __________

Disinfo: Yahoo Publishes Chinese Government Propaganda Piece

On January 24, Yahoo! published an article titled "Taiwan couple in tune with Chinese mainland". The original source of the piece is China Daily , which is an English-language newspaper owned by the Central Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The article and its accompanying video may seem quite harmless to people who are not familiar with the politics of the People's Republic of China (PRC), but they hide a very specific agenda.  In the video, a young couple from Taiwan are interviewed about their experiences in China, and especially during the Lunar New Year festivities. They are asked questions about their jobs as DJs, and about the similarities and differences between Taiwan and "the mainland".  The way they talk and the words they use convey a message: that Taiwan is just a part of China.  The CCP views Taiwan as part of the PRC and has vowed to use force to annex it. Beijing's stance can be compared to the Russian government&#

What Are Conspiracy Theories? - A Definition

Over the last several years, conspiracy theories have drawn increasing media attention. From birtherism to QAnon, from pandemic disinformation to lies about the outcome of democratic elections, conspiracy theories have been openly embraced by politicians who seek to use them to influence the electorate.  But conspiracy theories are not a recent phenomenon, and neither is their propagation by prominent individuals and organizations that are capable of shaping public discourse. In this series, I will discuss some consequential conspiracy theories, such as the "Stab in the back" conspiracy theory that spread among Germany's far-right circles after World War I, or the false claim by elements of the US far-right that the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests were masterminded by the Chinese government.  But, first of all, I will provide a definition of the term conspiracy theory in order to avoid ambiguity and confusion.  "Stop The New World Order" by Christian Cable, lic