Round Table

China’s and Taiwan’s Pandemic Response Compared: The European Perspective

China’s and Taiwan’s Pandemic Response Compared: The European Perspective

24.03.2021 - 24.03.2021

Time:
14.00-16.00 (Paris Time)

Venue:
Zoom virtual round table

Organizers:

Dr. Jens Damm (EURICS Paris / ERCCT Eberhard Karls University Tübingen), and
Prof. Angelika Messner (Head of the Centre for Chinese Studies, Kiel University)

PROGRAMME

Speakers:


Dr. Jens Damm (EURICS, Paris and ERCCT, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen):
“China’s Narrative of COVID-19 as Part of China’s Public Diplomacy”;

Prof. Sabrina Habich-Sobiegalla (Freie Universität Berlin) and Prof. Genia Kostka
(Freie Universität Berlin): “In Times of Crisis: Public Perceptions Towards COVID-19
Contact Tracing Apps in China, Germany, and the US”;

Dr. Chun-yi Lee (School of Politics and International Relations, University of
Nottingham), and Dr. Yu-ching Kuo (Independent researcher): “Digital Democracy in
Coping with the Pandemic: Lessons from Taiwan”.

ABSTRACTS

Dr. Jens Damm, EURICS (Paris) and ERCCT (Eberhard Karls University Tübingen): “China’s Narrative of COVID-19 as Part of China’s Public Diplomacy”

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has led to profound changes in China’s domestic politics. Together with the new global conflicts and changing international relations and changes in global economic relations, the SARS-CoV- 2 pandemic represents a watershed in politics, diplomacy, and international relations. New balances of global power are emerging, and China’s relationship with the rest of the world is being reassessed both inside and outside China. In my presentation, I will introduce the challenges SARS-COV-2 poses for Chinese public diplomacy and thus also for China’s international relations. I will also assess the role played by the new domestic political developments and challenges associated with SARS-COV-2 and the new global constellations created by SARS-COV-2.

Prof. Sabrina Habich-Sobiegalla, Freie Universität Berlin, and Prof. Genia Kostka, Freie Universität Berlin: “In Times of Crisis: Public Perceptions Towards COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps in China, Germany, and the US”

The adoption of COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps (CTA) has been proposed as an important measure to contain the spread of COVID-19. Surveys that compare public perceptions of CTAs, especially in different types of political regimes, remain limited. Based on a cross-national dataset with 6,464 respondents from China (n=2,201), Germany (n=2,083), and the United States (n=2,180), this paper analyses public perceptions towards CTAs and the factors that drive CTA acceptance in these three countries. Results indicate that public acceptance is highest among Chinese respondents where almost 60 percent strongly accept the use of CTAs to contain COVID-19. This stands in contrast to Germany and the United States, where fewer than 20 percent strongly accept its use. Despite these stark differences in cross-country acceptance rates, our study shows that the factors influencing these rates are similar in all three countries irrespective of the type of political regime. Health concerns during the pandemic and the fear of a second wave of infections seem to have a positive impact on levels of CTA acceptance in the three countries. Other strong predictors of CTA acceptance in all three countries appear to be the perceived effectiveness of these apps and other measures taken to contain COVID-19, previous use of other health apps as well as levels of trust in the state which all show positive effects. While levels of trust cannot be influenced through straightforward measures, short term acceptance rates could be increased by highlighting CTAs’ performance outcomes to users. (This paper is available as a preprint at https://papers.ssrn.co/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3693783).

Dr. Chun-yi Lee, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham, and Dr. Yu-ching Kuo, independent researcher: “Digital Democracy in Coping with the Pandemic: Lessons from Taiwan”

Covid-19 has thrown a light on Taiwan’s position—as an open and democratic society—in the global community. Taiwan has avoided the tragic loss of life at a scale seen in other countries. So far, discussion of Taiwan’s success in facing Covid-19 has focused on its so-called ‘mask diplomacy’ and low infection rates. Less attention has been paid to the role played by science and technology—a gap in the literature we aim to fill with this study.

We begin with an analysis of Taiwan’s digital approach to dealing with the pandemic. We then ask: how has the government balanced its management of the crisis using digital means while, at the same time, respecting the privacy of individuals? And second, how did it gain the trust of citizens while handling their personal data?

To answer these questions, we consider official documents and interview key figures responsible for shaping Taiwan’s response to the virus. The paper shows how the state employed digital methods to protect citizens during the pandemic, but also provides a timely insight into the relationship between digital technology and governance, suggesting that Taiwan’s ‘digital democracy’ has opened up unique spaces for public participation.

More information

Please register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1KVLn-14SOuhf8Pb9v3Fzg

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