Once again this week, Taiwanese demonstrated they will not remain silent in the face of injustice or when the values they hold dear, and for which their forebears fought with blood and sweat, are threatened.
Only a week after hundreds of young Taiwanese demonstrated in the streets of London following the removal, at Beijing’s request, of the Republic of China flag on Regent Street, a handful of reporters and editors at the Chinese-language China Times risked sacrificing their careers in journalism to protest against the unethical practices of their employer.
At the heart of the issue is the bid by the Want Want China Times Group, the parent company of the China Times, to acquire 11 cable TV services operated by China Network Systems (CNS). After months of deliberation, the National Communications Commission (NCC) announced its approval of the deal last month, albeit under strict conditions.
In the lead-up to the decision, a number of organizations and media experts raised issues with the merger, saying it would not only create a “media giant,” but one whose owner, Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明), has often put on moral blinders to protect his corporate interests in China. Critics have said that since 2008, when Tsai acquired the China Times Group, the newspaper has repeatedly engaged in self-censorship to ensure its reporting did not “offend” Beijing — a deplorable tradition that has several precedents in Hong Kong since retrocession in 1997.
In addition to remaining silent about China’s poor human rights conditions, Tsai has shown no compunction about using his media outlets to launch personal attacks on his critics, from academics, students and NCC commissioners who opposed the CNS deal, to a Hong Kong-based Pulitzer Prize-wining reporter who interviewed him earlier this year — the infamous interview in which Tsai denied the events on June 4, 1989, in Tiananmen Square, constituted a massacre.
After the China Times’ dalliance with “embedded” government advertising led Dennis Huang (黃哲斌), one of its senior reporters, to resign in 2010, the newspaper more recently launched what can only be described as vitriolic attacks against Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), an academic and outspoken critic of the CNS bid.
It has since emerged that some reporters whose bylines accompanied the articles attacking the academic had little say over the content of their articles and that the published stories bore little resemblance to the copy they had submitted. Outraged by such practices, a number of reporters and editors — one with less than two years’ experience, others with more than two decades — resigned or requested retirement in protest, choosing principle over personal comfort at a time when employment opportunities in the newspaper business are few and far between.
Of course, such acts of selflessness cannot in and of themselves prevent media giants from pursuing their agendas, and the resignations are unlikely to convince Tsai, Taiwan’s wealthiest individual, to clean up his act. However, just like the flag controversy in London, those individual protests do not go unnoticed and serve to highlight the predicament in which Taiwan finds itself as its government strives for ever-closer relations with authoritarian China. Not only did Dennis Huang’s resignation make headlines, it became one of the cases used by Freedom House to justify Taiwan’s lower ranking in its press freedom report the following year. Similarly, Tsai’s use of his media outlets as a personal tool for his vindictiveness, along with the resignations that followed, will also not go unnoticed.
In the name of freedom of the press and the values that Taiwanese stand for, the Taipei Times salutes the China Times editors and journalists who made personal sacrifices to expose injustice and chose to leave rather than be complicit in journalism of the worst kind.
Unless Hollywood movies like Greenland, Deep Impact, and Armageddon have predictive powers and a rogue space rock is heading our way, stopping Chinese Communist Party expansionism is likely to prove the single most challenging and dangerous problem of our lifetimes. How can the United States, Taiwan, and other liberal democracies prepare for and prevent attacks from China? How can Washington bolster Taipei’s confidence when it doesn’t recognize Taiwan as a real country and, so far, lacks the political will to make major adjustments to its ossified China policy and Taiwan policy? How can Taiwan make itself heard on the world stage when
Hypersonic weapons are defined as armaments capable of traveling at speeds faster than Mach 5 and can be broadly classified into two types: hypersonic glide vehicles (HGV) and hypersonic cruise missiles. The former are launched into the upper atmosphere by ballistic missiles. The vehicle is then separated from the booster to maneuver, or glide, toward its target. The latter can be launched from a jet plane or rocket to reach supersonic speed before igniting a scramjet engine to achieve hypersonic speeds. As the US engages in a great-power competition with China and Russia, all three countries are racing to field hypersonic
The number of people emigrating from Hong Kong has been rapidly increasing, Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department data show, with the territory’s population dropping by 110,000 people from 2019 to this year. China’s imposition of a National Security Law has clearly triggered a massive population outflow. However, not only people but also foreign businesses are leaving Hong Kong. For example, Vanguard Group, the world’s second-largest asset management company, VF Corp and Sony Interactive Entertainment have moved their top regional management from Hong Kong to Singapore. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury goods company, has also relocated staff
Oppression is painful, and not being able to express it increases the pain 10-fold. This level of pain is something that Uighurs, Tibetans and Mongolians understand all too well. A question often posed to Uighurs in the international arena is: “You say you are facing genocide, but why don’t we see corpses, like in Rwanda and in Bosnia?” If you were a Uighur, what would you say? What if you replied: “The source of the problem is your lack of vision. It’s an indication of your weakness and China’s strength, and it is not a matter of our sincerity.” Such a harsh response would