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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times Potential infiltration is concerning

Potential infiltration is concerning

The Liberty Times (sister paper of the Taipei Times), and other news media have carried reports about a Taiwanese political talk show being “shadowed” by “red” (Chinese communist) media.

The reports say that a correspondent of China’s state-run Xinhua news agency in Taiwan sat in the TV studio and monitored the production of the program.

They say that Xinhua had a significant influence on the TV station’s political talk show, including the themes and scenarios of discussions, and that the guests and pundits invited to the program were picked or vetted by the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) of the Chinese State Council.

The National Communications Commission (NCC) quickly responded to these reports by saying that it was investigating which TV station was involved, and that if the station is found to have contravened the regulations, it would be fined up to NT$2 million (US$61,482) and be taken off the air.

If the reports are true, this is a major case of interference in Taiwan’s press. It would mean the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is reaching into Taiwanese political talk shows to conduct brainwashing and promote unification by means of “using Taiwanese to control Taiwanese.”

Taiwan, as a democratic country, has the characteristics of diversity and openness. However, a reporter of Xinhua directing a Taiwanese political talk show means that the media of democratic Taiwan is being infiltrated by authoritarian China.

Authoritarian political systems have always regarded the media as propaganda tools. Xinhua is directly subordinate to the CCP’s Publicity Department, meaning that it takes its orders from the party.

In the past, the TAO had offered business opportunities to Taiwanese TV stations in the hope of inducing them to produce political talk shows that critique the Democratic Progressive Party and other “pan-green” forces.

Up until now, all such dealings have been conducted overseas, but now a Chinese reporter is reported to have taken part in the production and broadcast of a talk show in Taiwan.

Premier Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said that this case shows the importance of the NCC, and he called on the Legislative Yuan to pass a proposal that would give the commission the power to approve broadcasters’ personnel.

This latest incident should be promptly investigated and strictly dealt with, using the state’s authority to prevent Taiwan’s hard-won press freedom from being destroyed by authoritarian China’s infiltration.

Knight Chang is a political worker.

Translated by Julian Clegg


Source: Taipei Times - Editorials 2024/06/28



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Newsflash

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) spokesperson Sheila Paskman yesterday said a US government document from 1904 showed that Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and that Sun had been issued a document showing that he was a US citizen — claims the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) quickly denied.

During an interview with the Central News Agency, Paskman said that to celebrate the centenary of the ROC this year, the AIT had planned a special exhibition with Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in conjunction with US celebrations of its Independence Day.

In the process, she said, a document from 1904 was unearthed in the US National Archives stating that the US had given Sun legal status as a US citizen.