CECC head Chen Shi-Chun 陳時中 claims that statements made on a public facebook page than he was selling Taiwan and too close to the US (舔美賣臺), and concealed regarding the pandemic details from the public, were defamatory.

The judge handling the case denied claims that the citizen was simply stating his opinion saying that, if speech does if not factual but is simply derogatory, abusive, and critical, and freedom of speech is not guaranteed. The judge agreed that the speech damaged Chen’s reputation, despite the fact the he is a public official overseeing Taiwan’s national response to the coronavirus pandemic, and that the defendant lacked remorse for his statements. The defendant was then sentenced to three days in jail and a fine of 3,000NT (approximately 100USD).

Taiwan, unlike the United States, lacks freedom of speech protections, even when statements are directed at public officials.

This means that those critical of public officials must disguise their statements, or avoid non-factual statements to avoid criminal liability for simply expressing negative opinions towards others.