Taiwan yesterday urged Beijing to stop blocking access to the Web sites of Taiwanese government agencies, saying the practice was an obstacle to the increased exchange of future news and information.
Despite frequent cross-strait exchanges since Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) became the president in 2008, Web sites containing “gov.tw” are still not accessible to Internet users in China.
This has become a problem for the Chinese government itself, which increasingly needs official Taiwanese data as interaction multiplies, said Mainland Affairs Council spokesman Liu Te-shun (劉德勳).
“They must face up to this issue if they hope to see further news and information exchange” said Liu.
When AFP tried to access Taiwan government Web sites from computers in Beijing and Shanghai this week, none were accessible.
In 2009, the Taiwanese government eased restrictions on Chinese journalists stationed in Taiwan , allowing each Chinese media outlet to deploy up to five reporters.
Since then Chinese journalists stationed in Taiwan are also no longer required to notify Taiwanese authorities before traveling outside Taipei.
Currently 10 Chinese news outlets station journalists in Taipei on a maximum six-month rotation. The same rules apply for Taiwanese reporters in China.
Taiwan lifted a ban on Chinese journalists in 2000, but in 2005 the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government denied China’s official Xinhua news agency and the People’s Daily newspaper access, accusing them of contributing to worsening ties.
“We have told them news exchange does not only refer to the exchange of reporters. What is -really important is the free -exchange of information,” Liu said.
The DPP said it did not expect China’s policy on Taiwanese Web sites to change soon, adding that it showed Beijing was not sincere about closer relations with Taipei.
“I’m not surprised at all. This shows Beijing has not displayed as much goodwill to Taiwan as the KMT administration has claimed,” DPP Legislator Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER