Taiwan expels 2 mainland Chinese TV reporters over political talk shows

04-Jul-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Taipei is expelling two Taiwan-based mainland Chinese TV reporters who produced and broadcast political talk shows from Taiwan in violation of local regulations.

The journalists from Southeast Television in the mainland province of Fujian must leave Taiwan on Friday morning, according to the Mainland Affairs Council, the island’s top mainland policy planning body.

A Southeast Television programme being broadcast. Photo: YouTube

A Southeast Television programme being broadcast. Photo: YouTube

“They have violated the regulations governing their job status in Taiwan,” council vice-chair Chiu Tsui-cheng said, referring to the job descriptions the two listed when they applied to be stationed in Taiwan as reporters.

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Taiwan allows mainland news outlets to post journalists on the island and permits them to rent studio space from local broadcasters for their correspondents, but it bans them from acting as talk show hosts and broadcasting those shows from Taiwan.

Chiu said mainland media outlets that wanted to produce radio or TV programmes in Taiwan needed to apply for broadcasting permits from relevant Taiwanese authorities.

“Since the two do not have such permits, what they did was illegal,” Chiu said, adding that the Culture Ministry, which is the regulatory agency, decided to expel the two and that they must leave on Friday.

Two other mainland media outlets CCTV and Haixai TV have also rented studios in Taiwan, featuring news talk shows presented by mainland Chinese hosts and Taiwanese guest speakers. It is not immediately known if those shows were directly broadcast from Taiwan or from the mainland.

Chiu said no decision had been made about whether their correspondents would be expelled and authorities were still collecting information.

The latest move came after a complaint by Chiu Chih-wei, a legislator of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, which called on the government to ban the production of such talk shows, which were consistently negative about Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Chiu warned Taiwanese to be careful when visiting Hong Kong as they could face penalties for criticising Beijing after the implementation of the new national security law.

The law was passed unanimously by Beijing’s top legislative body on Tuesday and came into force that night. It punishes crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with a maximum term of life imprisonment, raising fears that it will curtail freedoms and undermine the rule of law in Hong Kong. The law also targets non-Hong Kong residents whose speech could create hatred and resentment towards Beijing.

In Beijing, the Taiwan Affairs Office accused the Taiwanese government of restricting journalistic work.

“Over a long period of time, mainland reporters have helped mutual understanding of mainland and Taiwan through their objective reporting,” TAO spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian said.

“The legitimate interest of mainland reporters should be protected, and their reporting work in Taiwan should be respected,” she said, before warning the DPP of “all possible consequences” for its action.




Category: Taiwan

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