Thu, Apr 30, 2009 - Page 3 News List

DPP legislator questions airing of PRC forum commercial on local TV channel

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

An opposition legislator yesterday questioned the legality of allowing a commercial on China’s upcoming Straits Forum to be aired in Taiwan.

The forum is scheduled to be held in Xiamen, China, on May 16, and the Chinese government has extended invitations to Taiwanese officials to attend.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kuo Wen-chen (郭玟成) showed a clip of the TV commercial on the Straits Forum that aired on ERA TV (年代電視) at the legislature’s Transportation Committee meeting yesterday.

Kuo said the station had violated Article 34 of the Act Governing Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例), which states that the content of the advertisement on goods, services or any other matter of the “Mainland Area” should not be a vehicle for propaganda by the Chinese Communist Party.

The article also states that if there is any doubt, “the Mainland Affairs Council [MAC] and the Executive Yuan, in conjunction with the authorities concerned and scholars or experts, shall form a review committee to make a decision.”

“The forum was designed under the framework of China’s ‘Anti-­Secession’ Law to reinforce its unification agenda,” Kuo said. “How can the National Communications Commission [NCC] allow such a commercial to be broadcast in Taiwan?”

Kuo accused the NCC of applying double standards in regulating Taiwanese and Chinese media.

“Why are you [NCC officials] so strict with underground radio stations in Taiwan, and so loose in regulating commercials from China?” Kuo asked.

In response, NCC communication content director Jason Ho (何吉森) said the MAC had reviewed the commercial and did not find it in violation.

However, late last night MAC Vice Chairman Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) said the council had reached a decision that it was inappropriate for the commercial to be aired in Taiwan, citing the Act Governing Relations Between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

The committee yesterday also discussed NCC’s plan to grant new radio operating licenses in an effort to eliminate illegal radio stations.

NCC Chairwoman Bonnie Peng (彭芸) said the commission was considering opening up to 155 frequencies for those who want to operate low-power radio stations.

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