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Friday, September 18, 2020

Is the BBC biased against Taiwan?

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On the 30th of April the BBC reported on its website that in South Korea there were only four new imported cases, and no new domestic cases of coronavirus infections. That is indeed a very good trend, and shows the effectiveness of the measures taken by the South Korean government since the outbreak began to worsen in February. So far, 10,765 people got infected in the country, and 247 of them have died.

Meanwhile, in Taiwan there have been no new domestic cases for two weeks now, and no new cases at all for four days. However, the BBC keeps ignoring this amazing achievement in a country excluded from the World Health Organization (WHO) due to political pressure from China. Instead, on the 30th of March you could read the misleading headline “Why Taiwan has become a problem for the WHO”, which in fact belongs to a rather balanced article.

On the 9th of April came the preposterous news about alleged racial slurs from Taiwan, which the China-friendly WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus claimed to have endured for months, and which turned out be the work of Chinese trolls. Anybody a little familiar with Taiwan would have immediately taken it with a grain of salt.

Also, a ridiculous story about a British woman and her Australian partner, which according to the false testimony of her mother were both being “incarcerated” during their quarantine in Taiwan, was published without any fact-checking, and shortly afterwards removed without any explanation or apology.

Without being oversensitive, and accustomed to Taiwan’s poor treatment by many international media, for me it’s still obvious that the BBC’s coverage of Taiwan isn’t fair. The pandemic has made it even clearer, as the case of South Korea shows.

Is that because the BBC doesn’t care at all about North Korea’s reactions, but don’t want to offend China? I would expect a much more professional attitude from one of the world’s most important opinion leaders!

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