The organizers of the Chinese Music Chart Awards deceived the Taipei City Government by applying to hold the award ceremony at the Taipei Arena using a different title, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City councilors said yesterday, accusing Taipei Deputy Mayor Timothy Ting (丁庭宇) of facilitating the application process.
The event’s co-organizer in Taiwan, the Taipei Artist Agency Association (TAAA), applied to the Taipei City Government’s Department of Cultural Affairs in January to hold a TAAA annual event at the Taipei Arena this month that would aim to revive the nation’s music scene. However, in April the TAAA changed the title of the event to the Chinese Music Chart Awards.
The department and Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC, 台北大眾捷運公司), operator of the arena, approved the application without reviewing the change of title or the event details, DPP Taipei City councilors Wu Su-yao (吳思瑤) and Liang Wen-jie (梁文傑) said.
Wu cited the TAAA’s application in January as saying that the “annual event” would invite Taiwanese musicians to perform and promote the spirit of the nation’s music industry to the world. The department’s review committee later agreed to the request to hold the event at the Taipei Arena from Dec. 25 to Dec. 30 amid competition for the venue, including a request by popular Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) to stage a concert.
“The organizer obtained the right to use the arena using a different title. Why did TRTC and the department still approve the case after it changed the title to the Chinese Music Chart Awards? It’s against application procedures and I don’t think the department would have dared to ignore the procedures if wasn’t instructed to do so,” she said.
Liang accused Ting of facilitating the application because he is a close friend of former New Party lawmaker Chao Shao-kang (趙少康) — whose younger brother is TAAA president Chao Shao-wei (趙少威) — and urged the department to organize another review of the application to hold the Chinese award ceremony in Taiwan.
“Ting must have put pressure on the department and TRTC to approve the TAAA’s application, otherwise the review committee would not have ignored the change of title and content,” Liang said.
Ting denied any involvement and said that he did not know Chao Shao-wei.
Kuo Pei-yu (郭佩瑜), a division chief at the department, acknowledged that the committee had approved the TAAA’s second application in April without knowing about the details of the event and promised to hold another review of the application.
Controversy about the event arose after the Chinese organizers announced last week that this year’s event would be held in Taipei on Dec. 29, despite not having received official approval from the government.
Meanwhile, a meeting led by the National Immigration Agency (NIA) to review the case yesterday afternoon reached no conclusion.
The meeting cast doubt on the purpose of the event, which was listed as a “concert” in the application to the Taipei City Government, but as an “awards ceremony” in documents filed with the NIA.
The NIA also requested that the organizers clarify if it is purely a private-sector event, amid media speculation that the Chinese government plays a role in holding the annual extravaganza.
A second NIA review meeting is scheduled to be held on Tuesday next week.
Additional reporting by Wu Yueh-hsiu