The China Times Group ultimately issued a public apology, but the damage is done — Taiwanese are losing faith in the independence of their country’s media organizations. As a nation that extols the virtues of freedom of the press, the US needs to be equally assertive in voicing its concern when those freedoms are in danger of being inhibited. US officials and lawmakers of all stripes should form a united front opposing China’s efforts to exert control over Taiwanese media. And the next president of the US should make every effort to ensure the liberal-democratic values of one of the US’ closest friends remains secure.
They can start by urging the National Communications Commission to reverse its decision to allow Want Want to purchase a majority stake in China Network Systems and condemning efforts by Beijing’s allies to manipulate Taiwanese media.
Stuart Gottlieb teaches international security at Columbia University. He has worked as a foreign policy adviser for US Senator Charles Schumer and speechwriter for former US senator Chris Dodd. This article was first printed on Roll Call.