Tue, May 30, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Restrictions on Chinese stars to be eased

AGENCIES , TAIPEI

Restrictions on Chinese entertainers coming to Taiwan to do promotion activities will be eased, a Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official said yesterday.

MAC Vice Chairman Johnnason Liu (劉德勳) said a decision reached at a MAC meeting earlier that day meant that Chinese performers who come to Taiwan in the name of cultural and educational exchanges would be permitted to engage in promotional activities, including news conferences and interviews, at the discretion of the government.

"After assessing the issue with relevant authorities several times, we have decided to readjust the regulations governing cross-strait cultural and education exchanges that involve commercial activities," Liu said.

The latest decision came after harsh criticism by entertainers and academics that the government's gagging of Chinese performers only makes the democratic country no different from its long-time political rival, China, which prohibits freedom of speech.

The criticism followed a government gag order earlier this year on a Chinese performer while in Taiwan, and a ban on a Chinese pop singer from being interviewed by local media, which the authorities said they considered a commercial promotion activity.

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