New regulations by China’s Propaganda Department on provincial and metropolitan news media could have serious implications for investigative reporting and press freedom in the country, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Wednesday — and could undermine the ability of Chinese media to obtain information about Taiwan.
The latest restrictions reportedly include a ban on exchanges of newspaper articles with media in other provinces, and a prohibition on media in metropolitan areas carrying their own reporting on national or international stories, or modifying the coverage of stories on such topics provided by state-owned media.
It remains to be seen if the regulations would apply to Chinese media operating in Taiwan.
At present, five regional Chinese media outlets operate in Taiwan. Reporters from Fujian SETV, the Fujian Daily, Xiamen TV, Hunan Television, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily and the Shenzhen Economic Daily are posted here.
Five state-owned outlets — Xinhua news agency, the People’s Daily, China Network Television, China National Radio and China News Service — also have reporters filing from Taiwan.
If the regulations are applied to Chinese media operating in Taiwan, the regional media outlets based here could be barred from providing their reporting to media in Chinese provinces, or media in metropolitan areas could be prohibited from using reporting about Taiwan from sources other than state-owned media, such as Xinhua.
The new regulations also include a call to cease all negative reporting about the police and judicial authorities.
Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper said the new regulations were implemented on July 1.
Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) regrets the ban.
“We hope every nation will respect freedom of the press. This is a value we have upheld all along,” he said yesterday.
Asked if the restrictions would affect Taiwan-based correspondents, Chiang said he didn’t know, adding the GIO would never interfere in how Chinese journalists portray Taiwan.
The Propaganda Department in four southern provinces, as well as in Beijing, has issued warnings to the editors of the main liberal news media, RSF said. Starting this month, Hunan Province newspapers have only carried dispatches from Xinhua in their international news sections. Several editors in Beijing, Guangdong and Shandong said they would stop exchanging articles with newspapers in other provinces.
Association of Taiwan Journalists (ATJ) chairman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) said the organization had noticed the Chinese government was placing more restrictions on media and NGOs.
“We must join coordinated efforts to protest against this phenomenon,” Yang told the Taipei Times by telephone. “We know that many media workers in China are trying to resist and we support them.”
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FLORA WANG AND LOA IOK-SIN
HEATED TRAFFIC: As Beijing holds naval drills near Taiwan, the Ministry of National Defense said it had a full grasp of the situation and would handle it ‘appropriately’ A Chinese carrier group exercising near Taiwan is part of what are to be regular drills, the Chinese navy said in a statement late on Monday, further escalating tensions between Taipei and Beijing. The group, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning, was conducting “routine” drills in the waters around Taiwan, a move to “enhance its capability to safeguard national sovereignty, safety and development interests,” the statement said. “Similar exercises will be conducted regularly,” it said, without elaborating. The statement came after the Ministry of National Defense earlier on Monday issued a statement regarding a rise in the number of incursions by Chinese jets into
AIMED AT TAIWAN? Institute for National Defense and Security Research research fellow Ou Si-fu said chips can be ‘bought off the shelf’ and then used in weapons The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said that chips from Taiwanese semiconductor companies were not making their way into Chinese missiles “to the best of our knowledge.” A report in yesterday’s Washington Post alleged that a Chinese company named Phytium Technology Co (飛騰) used chips made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), along with US software, in advanced Chinese military systems. “TSMC has long placed strict controls on their chips. The export of high-tech products from Taiwan is also highly regulated,” Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said. “According to our understanding, none of the end uses for those products
NO TIME: The driver tried to apply the brakes when he saw the truck, but the train did not have time to come to a full stop, an investigation report said The crane truck that caused last week’s fatal train accident had slid onto the tracks about one-and-a-half minutes before it was struck, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. The board had launched an investigation into the derailment, which killed 50 people and injured 211 people, making it the nation’s most devastating railway accident in decades. Carrying 494 passengers and four Taiwan Railways Administration personnel, the southbound express train to Taitung hit the truck as it was about to enter the Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The train derailed following the collision, with the left side of the eighth
TAROKO INCIDENT: The committee would regulate how public donations for victims of Friday’s train accident, which have exceeded NT$60 million, would be used The government has collected about NT$60 million (US$2.1 million) in donations through Line Pay and convenience stores for victims of last week’s fatal train accident and plans to establish an oversight committee to determine how the funds should be used to help them, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The accident occurred at 9:28am on Friday, when a southbound Taroko Express train traveling from New Taipei City to Taitung hit a crane truck that had slid down a hill from a nearby construction site onto the rails as the train was about to enter the Cingshuei Tunnel