Su Chii-cherng, the director-general of the Osaka branch of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, committed suicide on September 14, 2018. He was the victim of a Chinese disinformation attack on the government he served.

One of Beijing’s “content farms” had manufactured a news report that China had sent buses to rescue Taiwanese tourists stranded by a typhoon at the Osaka airport after Su’s office, the de facto Taiwanese consulate in the city, had failed to do so. In fact, Osaka’s Kansai Airport had sent the buses. The Taiwanese diplomat believed the fabricated report, however, and took his life over the shame of abandoning the tourists.

I had heard of China’s rescue of the Taiwanese tourists at the time but didn’t fully realize the report was false until I read Joshua Kurlantzick’s


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