Taiwan expels two Chinese reporters for 'violations'

07/03/2020 06:58 PM
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The two Chinese reporters wave goodbye at the airport.
The two Chinese reporters wave goodbye at the airport.

Taipei, July 3 (CNA) Two reporters from China's Southeast Television station, whose entry permit to Taiwan and journalist credentials were revoked on Thursday, left Taiwan on Friday after the authorities found they had violated the conditions under which Chinese journalists can work in the country.

According to the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the two reporters, who arrived in Taiwan in December, had violated regulations regarding Chinese reporters' work in Taiwan because they had hosted televised studio programs, and were not simply working as journalists.

Hosting television programs is not among the scope of work they had applied to do here, a MAC official has told the media.

Some of the TV programs the journalists had produced involved interviewing political pundits on topics ranging from the cluster COVID-19 infection on the Taiwanese naval vessel Panshi, to the opposition party Kuomintang's new policy towards mainland China.

The MAC, however, did not indicate whether the journalists were expelled because of the content of the programs.

The Ministry of Culture (MOC), which oversees media matters, also said this week that the reporters had violated the conditions for being Taiwan-based journalists from China by hosting television programs here.

The MOC added that any changes to the scope of their duties should have been reported to the ministry.

According to the ministry, it sent a formal notice to Southeast Television on June 30, demanding changes to its operations in Taiwan. The ministry did not say how the TV station had responded and why the journalists were ordered to leave less than five days after the warning was issued.

One of the reporters expelled, who is surnamed Ai (艾), told journalists at the airport Friday that they had followed the book when working in Taiwan and were unaware of what they did that violated the rules.

"It was somewhat sudden," said Ai, who expressed regret over the government's decision to expel them.

In a statement released by China's Taiwan Affairs Office on Friday, its spokesperson Zhu Fenglian (朱鳳蓮) slammed Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for ordering the two reporters to leave.

"The DPP authorities' unreasonable oppression of Chinese media outlets and their reporters' normal news coverage exposed how fake they are about their so-called news freedom," Zhu said in the statement.

Taiwan's cultural ministry, meanwhile, said it was looking into the operations of other Chinese media outlets with journalists based in Taiwan, including China Central Television and Haixia TV, which were reported to have produced similar studio programs here.

Taiwan first began allowing Chinese media outlets' reporters to be based in Taiwan in 2000, and currently allows each reporter a three-month stay each time. Their entry permit and journalist credential can be renewed by the National Immigration Agency and the Ministry of Culture, respectively.

(By Chiu Chun-chin, Lai Yen-hsi and Kay Liu) enditem/cs

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