July 20: Lessons from Taiwan: Enduring PRC Media Infiltration

July 20: Lessons from Taiwan: Enduring PRC Media Infiltration

Thursday, July 20, 2023 from 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM (ET)

In-Person (RSVP here) and Webcast

Event Description:

Taiwan has one of the most vibrant and competitive mass media environments in Asia. Countless online publications—as well as 18 privately owned 24-hour news channels—bring constant updates and stories to a hungry domestic audience. Yet, the landscape is littered with  concealed Chinese influence. Taiwan’s loose regulation and economic dependence on China have left openings for United Front actors to shape media narratives—which, when coupled with relentless waves of disinformation on social media, give the Chinese Communist Party significant opportunities to sway mainstream opinion. As Beijing expands its influence efforts across the globe, it is more crucial than ever to draw lessons from the experience of its priority target. How does China conduct media influence campaigns in Taiwan, and how effective have they been? What are people doing—and what can be done—to counter them? What are the implications for the United States and the international community?

This seminar will include a discussion of the situation, vulnerabilities, and strengths of a Taiwanese media sector facing comprehensive infiltration attempts by the PRC, as well as what Taiwan’s experience implies for United States policy.

Panelists will include: Shu-ling Ko (National Endowment for Democracy), Amber Lin (Georgetown), Rita Cheng (Radio Free Asia), and Kevin Sheives (National Endowment for Democracy). The event will be moderated by GTI Summer Fellow Jonah Landsman, and is organized by the Global Taiwan Institute.

Doors will open at 9:30 AM, and the event will begin at 10:00 AM. If you plan on attending in-person, please RSVP by July 20, as seating is limited. Light refreshments will be provided. Please direct questions or concerns to program manager Marshall Reid at mreid@globaltaiwan.org.

**Media: Please contact Marshall Reid at mreid@globaltaiwan.org if you would like to bring additional crew members or equipment, so that we can be sure to accommodate you.

The Speakers:

Shu-ling Ko is a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, where she is analyzing Taiwan’s management of COVID-19 to understand the nation’s strong democratic performance at a time when other democracies have been faltering around the world. She has previously worked as a beat reporter at the Taipei Times and at the Taipei office of Kyodo News, Japan’s largest and oldest news agency. For her coverage of cross-strait relations and Pacific politics, Ms. Ko was awarded a Jefferson Fellowship at the East-West Center in 2015. She has also served on the executive committees of the Association of Taiwan Journalists, the East-West Center, and the Taiwan Foreign Correspondents Club.

Amber Lin is a Fulbright fellow and an investigative journalist specializing in cross-Strait relations and regional politics. Her coverage has spanned crucial social and geopolitical events in Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, and Southeast Asia. She has worked and contributed to a number of Chinese-language publications in the region, including Taiwan’s CommonWealth Magazine and The ReporterThe Initium (Hong Kong), Malaysiakini (Malaysia), and more. Amber has earned several journalism awards, including Hong Kong’s SOPA and Human Rights Press Award, Taiwan’s Excellent Journalism Award and the Vivian Wu Journalism Award. In 2019, she was granted a Pulitzer Center Persephone Miel Fellowship for her project The Silent War, a series of reports investigating Beijing’s growing economic and political influence campaigns over Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Amber is currently studying politics and security in the Asian Studies Program at Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Rita Cheng is a senior data journalist with the Asia Fact Check Lab of Radio Free Asia. Her journalism career started in Taiwan and she obtained her Master’s degree in the UK. Before settling in the US, she worked for the Central News Agency (Taiwan) as a correspondent in Washington DC, Shanghai, and Beijing. Her coverage has spanned topics ranging from cross-Strait relations and US-China relations, to social events and human rights issues in China. In 2023, her project on China’s birth control policy was recognized as a silver award winner for human rights reporting by the New York Festivals.

Kevin Sheives is the deputy director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy. Kevin served nearly fifteen years in the U.S. government with the State Department’s China Desk and the Global Engagement Center, and in positions at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Department of Defense, and the U.S. House of Representatives. Kevin received a Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in International Relations from Baylor University. He is proficient in Mandarin, and often served as a summer English teacher in Xinjiang, China. His writings have appeared in War on the Rocks, The Diplomat, Asia Nikkei, and the International Forum’s platforms.

The Moderator:

Jonah Landsman is GTI’s 2023 Ya-Hui Chiu Summer Fellow. He is also a political science student at Middlebury College. He spent the Spring of 2023 in Taipei, Taiwan, where he studied Mandarin and interned with the International Affairs Department of the Democratic Progressive Party. Jonah has also interned at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, conducting open-source intelligence on PLA installations while researching nuclear politics and disarmament efforts.

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