Sat, Apr 20, 2019 - Page 3 News List

MAC to tighten visa scrutiny for HK, Macau media

Staff writer, with CNA

A plaque showing the name and logo of the Mainland Affairs Council is pictured at its office in Taipei on Jan. 9.

Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times

The Mainland Affairs Council is to tighten the visa screening process for people who work for certain media outlets based in Hong Kong and Macau, Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said on Thursday.

National security agencies are currently investigating several reporters from Hong Kong and Macau who arrived on tourist visas and allegedly engaged in illegal media work, Chiu said.

In response, the council has decided to tighten visa screening processes for people who work for certain media outlets, he said.

According to a local news report published on Thursday, six reporters from Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po — pro-Chinese Communist Party newspapers based in Hong Kong — allegedly took advantage of relaxed entry requirements to enter Taiwan and film a Hong Kong youth group.

The government respects freedom of the press, but illegal activities under the guise of press freedom would not be tolerated, Chiu said.

Visitors from China should not engage in activities other than those permitted on their visas, Chiu said, adding that offenders would be dealt with accordingly and be placed on a five-year watch list.

Asked about the New Party inviting Chinese academic Li Yi (李毅) to deliver a video speech today, Chiu said that Taiwan is a free and democratic nation, but freedom of speech has its limits and can be restricted under certain conditions.

Li, an advocate of “unification by force,” was deported on Friday last week, the day before he was scheduled to attend a pro-unification forum and rally, and three days after he arrived on a tourist visa.

Any propaganda advocating war or actions that endanger the nation’s survival are prohibited, Chiu said, citing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the nation’s Constitution.

He urged the public not to support China’s “one country, two systems” framework and “unification by force,” saying there is little support for these ideas in Taiwan.

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