Taipei, April 18 (CNA) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) will tighten the screening process and granting of entry permits or visas to individuals who work in certain media outlets based in Hong Kong and Macao, MAC deputy minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said Thursday.
At a press conference, Chiu said that several instances of reporters from Hong Kong and Macao arriving in Taiwan on tourist permits or visas and engaging in media work illegally, are currently being investigated by national security agencies.
As a result, the MAC has decided to tighten visa screening processes for those who work in certain media outlets when they apply to visit Taiwan, Chiu added.
According to a local news report published on Thursday, six reporters from Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po, both Hong Kong based pro-Chinese Communist newspapers, allegedly entered Taiwan in January taking advantage of relaxed entry requirements, and filmed a Hong Kong youth group.
Chiu stressed that Taiwan's government respects press freedom but illegal activities under the guise of press freedom will not be tolerated.
Tourist visa or special permit holders from China should not engage in activities other than those permitted under the visa they have, Chiu said as he warned that violators will be dealt with accordingly and be placed on a five-year watch list.
Meanwhile, after the New Party invited Chinese scholar Li Yi (李毅) to deliver a video speech on April 20, Chiu reiterated that the Republic of China (Taiwan) is a free and democratic country, but freedom of speech has its limit and can be restricted under certain conditions.
Li, an advocate for "unification by force," was deported from Taiwan last Friday, a day before he was apparently supposed to attend a pro-unification forum and rally and three days after his arrival in Taiwan on a tourist visa.
Chiu reiterated that any propaganda advocating war or deeds that endanger the nation's survival are prohibited, citing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Constitution of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
He urged everyone not to dance to China's tune on the "one country, two systems" proposal and the threat of "unification by force" because there is little support for those ideas in Taiwan.