Media operators who violate rules banning Chinese publications will be held accountable for their actions, senior government officials said yesterday in response to reports that a Chinese newspaper will be published in Taipei by a Taiwanese paper.
China News Service reported on Monday that the Sanjin City News (三晉都市報), a newspaper in China’s Shanxi Province belonging to the Shanxi Daily News group, will have an edition published in Taipei beginning tomorrow.
The Want Daily will be in charge of the publication and circulation of the weekly Taipei version of the Sanjin City News, the report said.
The Want Daily is owned by the Want Want China Times Group (旺旺中時集團), led by tycoon Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明).
The Shanxi Daily News group was quoted by the report as saying that its Taipei weekly will cover issues on cross-strait exchanges in areas of economy, life, culture and tourism.
At a meeting of the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee, Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) and Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) said that Chinese publications are not allowed in the Republic of China.
The council has learned from the Want Want China Times Group that one page of the Want Daily will carry stories provided by the Sanjin City News after they have been either rewritten or edited, Chang said.
“We are very concerned about this because Chinese newspapers and other publications are banned from sale in Taiwan,” he said.
Lung said that her ministry will deal with the case in accordance with the Guidelines for Permitting Mainland Publications, Movies, Video, Radio and Television Programs to Enter, or be Issued, Sold, Produced, Broadcast, Exhibited and Copied in the Taiwan Region (大陸地區出版品電影片錄影節目廣播電視節目進入台灣地區或在台灣地區發行銷售製作播映展覽觀摩許可辦法).
However, pressed by lawmakers, Lung declined to say how the Want Daily would be punished if it were to help circulate a Chinese newspaper in Taiwan.
“We have not seen the publication yet. We have to call a meeting to determine the publication’s conformity with the guidelines,” the minister said.
There are different types of penalties for different violations of the guidelines, Lung said.
For example, if the name of a Chinese newspaper appears in a version of the paper in Taipei, a fine of between NT$40,000 and NT$200,000 could be imposed, or there could be a “revocation of permission,” Lung said, without elaborating.
According to the Central News Agency (CNA), the Want Daily said that its cooperation with the Sanjin City News will not mean that the Chinese paper is published in Taiwan.
“It is a form of exchange of news stories,” the Want Daily told CNA.
There is a precedent for Chinese print media making an appearance in Taiwan in a way that evaded being regulated under the guidelines.
In 2011, the English-language China Post occasionally carried inserts with stories taken from the state-run People’s Daily, Xinhua news agency and the China Daily.