Wed, Aug 02, 2006 - Page 3 News List

TSU caucus whip keeps pressure on TVBS

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucus yesterday criticized government officials for not clarifying the investment structure of the TVBS cable channels and whether or not China has influence over the network.

The caucus asked the Government Information Office (GIO) to revoke TVBS' license if it was established that China was taking control of the TV station.

The TSU made the call following a report published in the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister paper) yesterday that said China's state-run CCTV station may purchase stock in Hong Kong's Television Broadcast Ltd (TVB) from the owner of TVBS' primary investor, TVB chairman Run Run Shaw (邵逸夫).

If China completes the deal with Shaw, TVBS will become a TV station invested in by Beijing, the paper said.

TSU caucus whip David Huang (黃適卓) yesterday invited officials from the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the National Communications Commission (NCC) and the GIO to clarify the matter.

"We keep warning that China has been trying every means to influence the mass media, and that TVBS is one of the Chinese government's tools to attempt to bring about disarray in Taiwan and aid its war of unification," Huang said.

"If it is confirmed that China is the invisible hand behind the scenes, the GIO should immediately revoke the TVBS license," he said.

NCC spokesperson Huang Ching-yi (黃金益) said that the legality of the network's investment structure had still not been investigated and that the authorities needed to collect more information to reach a decision.

However, none of the officials from the NCC, the MAC or the GIO would state which agency would confirm the nature of the station's investment structure, saying only that they would cooperate on the investigation according to the law.

Elsewhere yesterday, GIO Minister and Cabinet Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said that the government will follow up on information that the Chinese government's share of TVBS is increasing.

"In addition to TVBS, we will attempt to determine the percentage of Chinese investment in local media because it concerns us that our freedom of speech might be jeopardized," Cheng said.

Additional reporting by Jimmy Chuang

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