A Taiwanese correspondent coverrng vice president-elect Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) visit to China’s Hainan Island for the Boao Forum was treated roughly yesterday by Chinese security, who stripped away a photojournalist’s press pass and took him away by force. It was only after a protest lodged by the Taiwanese press corps that the journalist was released.
The incident occurred when Taiwanese press hastened to take a close shot of Wu, who was visiting a fruit farm run by a Taiwanese firm in Haikou. During the rush, the Taiwanese photojournalist was suddenly struck on the face by the security agent’s elbow.
A quarrel erupted between the two and another security agent stripped away the photojournalist’s press pass and told personnel to detain him.
The photojournalist’s seizure went unnoticed by other Taiwanese reporters, occupied with their coverage of Wu. It was only moments later the press team realized something was wrong and they demanded to know where the detained journalist was taken.
Facing a line of Taiwanese video cameras, one security agent said the photojournalist “was merely taken to the car” before heated words were exchanged.
The negotiations and a protest lodged by the Taiwanese press corps, combined with an intervention by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), resulted in the photojournalist’s release and his press pass being returned.
After the journalist’s release, personnel in Wu’s entourage inquired what had happened.
“The Hainan TAO failed to manage the Taiwanese press well,” two Chinese officials were heard saying.