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Chinese artists welcome, but must abide by regulations: MAC

06/13/2024 10:48 PM
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Chinese actor Hu Ge greets the audience at an event in Taipei Wednesday. CNA photo June 12, 2024
Chinese actor Hu Ge greets the audience at an event in Taipei Wednesday. CNA photo June 12, 2024

Taipei, June 13 (CNA) Chinese artists are welcome to visit Taiwan, but they must not make statements harming Taiwan's autonomous status during their visits, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Thursday after Chinese actor Hu Ge's (胡歌) trip to Taiwan.

Hu, the protagonist of the popular Chinese TV drama "Blossoms Shanghai," came to Taipei on Wednesday to attend an event called "Dialogue with the Youth" to share his experience in the film and television industry, before leaving Taiwan earlier Thursday.

Hu's visit to Taiwan was under a special scheme applied by the Taipei Multimedia Production Association (TMPA) with the purpose of attending a youth exchange forum, said Liang Wen-chieh (梁文傑), deputy head and spokesperson of the MAC, Taiwan's top government agency handling cross-strait affairs, at a press conference.

When asked if the MAC welcomes other Chinese artists to visit Taiwan, Liang gave a positive answer, saying that the MAC welcomes and has never put any restrictions on such visits.

"However, they must comply with relevant regulations when coming to Taiwan," Liang said. "For example, they cannot make statements that harm our autonomous status."

Liang added that as the TMPA only requested Hu's participation in the exchange forum, Hu therefore must comply with the original purpose stated in the application and cannot engage in activities that do not align with the stated purpose during his time in Taiwan.

Regarding Chinese artists coming to Taiwan for commercial performances, Liang said that it is not prohibited and such applications can be made to the National Immigration Agency without needing special approval, noting that some organizations have already invited Chinese artists to Taiwan for commercial performances and submitted applications.

Meanwhile, Yunlin County Magistrate Chang Li-shan (張麗善) told local media on Tuesday that she has been red-baited and criticized with various accusations due to her upcoming attendance of the Straits Forum, an annual conference between China and Taiwan. She said that she is only joining the forum to share Yunlin County's experiences in agricultural promotion.

When asked to comment on Chang's statement, Liang said that the MAC is fulfilling its duties and does not engage in discrediting or red-baiting anyone.

"However, we must point out any activities that are part of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) united front work," Liang said. "Regarding the Straits Forum, we reiterate the MAC's stance that the Straits Forum is essentially a united front platform of the CCP."

He reiterated that from the Taiwanese central government's perspective, it is not favorable to see personnel from the local governments joining such a forum, urging those who will join the forum to comply with Taiwan's regulations on cross-strait exchanges.

According to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, county magistrates or city mayors "shall apply for permission to enter into the Mainland Area," with their applications to be reviewed and approved by a committee formed by various ministries and agencies, including the MAC.

Chang and Kinmen County Magistrate Chen Fu-hai (陳福海), from the opposition Kuomintang and Taiwan People's Party, respectively, have applied to attend the 16th Straits Forum, and have received approval from the MAC.

With its opening conference held on Saturday in Xiamen, Fujian province, this year's Straits Forum is organized by 86 cross-strait organizations, with activities spanning a week under the theme "Expanding Civil Exchanges, Deepening Integrated Development," said Chen Binhua (陳斌華), spokesman of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, on Wednesday.

(By Sunny Lai)

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