Tue, Apr 12, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Chinese journalists suspended `until they tell the truth'

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Pasuya Yao (姚文智) yesterday said that the agency will work with the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) in the suspension of China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency and People's Daily from sending their reporters to Taiwan.

"Chinese reporters' stories do not help communication because they report rumors instead of facts," Yao said.

"As a result, we will cooperate with the MAC to suspend their application to establish bureaus in Taipei," he said.

The MAC said yesterday afternoon that it will follow the GIO's policy initiative on this issue.

`Facts not rumors'

At the Legislative Yuan yesterday morning, the GIO chief claimed that the two agencies' reporters said in their stories on the March 26 rally against the "Anti-Secession" Law that "all the participants in the rally must keep their hands out of their pockets or they will be regarded as assassins and knocked down by special agents."

"We need facts to be distributed instead of rumors," Yao said.

"China is not a free country and its news agencies are not being operated without control," Yao said.

"Under these circumstances, we need to think carefully about whether we should be allowing them [Chinese reporters] to base their operations in Taipei," he said.

"We need to let them [Chinese officials] know that Taiwan is not a country which will always answer to every request of theirs," Yao said.

Reconsider

Asked when the government will reconsider the Chinese reporters' requests to be based in Taiwan, Yao said that it was up to the reporters.

"As long as they [Chinese reporters] can promise they will always report truthfully on Taiwan and report facts about what happens on the ground, we will be more than happy to assist," the minister said.

"However, the final decision will not be made without MAC's and the National Security Council's evaluation of the situation," he added.

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