Tens of thousands of people yesterday rallied in Taipei to protest against media outlets that spread fabricated news for Beijing and called for tighter regulations to counter China’s manipulation of local media.
Demonstrators started arriving on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office Building as early as 7am, despite the rain, for the protest, which began at 2pm.
The purpose of the rally is to oppose Chinese authoritarianism, said Internet celebrity Holger Chen (陳之漢), who organized the protest with New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌).
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
China has seriously infiltrated Taiwan’s media and businesses, with CtiTV News (中天新聞) being an obvious example, he said.
The network “reports whatever it likes and promotes [certain politicians] to a godlike status,” he said, adding that he wonders how many people have been brainwashed by its so-called news.
“We want such media outlets to go away,” he said, urging people to stand up against media manipulation and defend Taiwan regardless of their age and party affiliation.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
Chen said that before the rally, a representative from Want Want China Times Media Group (旺旺中時集團) — which owns CtiTV and the Chinese-language China Times newspaper — approached him, asking for a chance to clarify things on his Internet show and saying they were willing to make improvements.
He told the representative that all they need to do is to report about the Tiananmen Square Massacre and human rights violations in Hong Kong, Chen said.
He was referring to reports earlier this month that the China Times gave only limited coverage to massive protests against a controversial extradition bill in Hong Kong and that it removed all content directly related to the massacre shortly after the incident’s 30th anniversary.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Hopefully, the rally will prompt lawmakers to improve laws to counter Chinese infiltration and motivate the executive branch to crack down on media outlets that have been infiltrated, Huang said.
“It is important that we build a defense mechanism based on the idea of ‘defensive democracy’ to protect Taiwan’s democracy and the rule of law, which are under attack,” he said.
The freedoms of speech and the press should be protected, but there must be boundaries, he added.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Huang said he had invited all major parties and presidential hopefuls to the rally, but only the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the NPP sent representatives.
“China has not only infiltrated Taiwan’s media, but also its schools, communities, temples and other organizations,” DPP Secretary-General Luo Wen-jia (羅文嘉) told the crowd.
To counter Chinese infiltration, which aims to chip away at Taiwan’s democracy, the nation needs to have laws requiring companies controlled by foreign states to disclose their relationship and related activities, he said.
Taiwan does not need news media that distort the truth to promote the interests of Beijing, NPP Chairman Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said.
The NPP legislative caucus would push for the passage of laws against infiltration and other national security bills, he added.
Former Causeway Bay Books manager Lam Wing-kei (林榮基), filmmaker Kevin Lee (李惠仁) and Taipei City councilors Chiu Wei-chieh (邱威傑) and Miao Po-ya (苗博雅) also attended the rally.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
RIVERSIDE CAMP: As rescuers continued their search for a missing man, Taipower said that the floodgates at a hydro plant on the Lishi Creek opened due to a malfunction Three people have been confirmed dead and one was missing after being swept away by a flash flood while camping in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛), police said yesterday. Six people from two families were camping near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) when the riverbanks were suddenly flooded just after 4am, carrying away four of the campers — including two children — who were asleep in their tents, police said. A man who was among those swept away was able to climb ashore and call for help, police said, adding that another man had gone missing in the turmoil at the campsite.