The National Communications Commission (NCC) will submit draft legislation regulating cross-media ownership by the end of the next legislative session, NCC Chairperson Howard Shyr (石世豪) said yesterday, adding that the regulations would be included in the planned digital convergence act (數位匯流法).
Shyr made the comments at the legislature’s Transportation Committee, where he had been expected to brief lawmakers on the Democratic Progressive Party’s proposed amendments to the Radio and Television Act (廣播電視法), the Cable Television Act (有線電視法) and the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法) to prevent media monopolization.
However, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers boycotted the meeting. They said it was decided in Friday’s meetings that the amendments would first be reviewed by the Transportation Committee. Under the legislature’s rules, each lawmaker can propose reconsideration of legislation within 10 days of it undergoing official review at the committee.
KMT legislators Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) and Luo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) said that period was not over.
They said the DPP meant to use the briefing to force the committee to review its amendments, leaving the KMT with nothing more to add to the amendments.
However, DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said yesterday’s meeting was a “briefing,” during which the commission would give its opinion on the amendments, not an official review.
DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said the Martial Law era was long over and his party wanted to hear what the commission had to say about the legislation, adding that the topic of the briefing should not be dictated by the KMT.
DPP Legislator Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷), who presided the meeting, ruled to recess, during which the two parties negotiated in a bid to stop the gridlock.
The lawmakers eventually reached an agreement to schedule another meeting on Wednesday.
Based on the amendments proposed by DPP, cable service operators must recruit people from outside their corporations to serve on their boards, shares held directly or indirectly by overseas investors must not exceed 60 percent and bank loans must not exceed 30 percent of the company’s capital.
The DPP amendments would also restrict investments from financial holdings firms, banks and insurance firms in broadcast media.
The commission said it was more appropriate to stipulate such a restriction in the Financial Holding Company Act (金融控股公司法), the Banking Act (銀行法) and the Insurance Act (保險法).
The commission also said that it would restrict the number of TV channels owned by cable TV operators to less than 10 percent of the number of basic channels.
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two