Wed, May 22, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Local media firms take part in Chinese forum after warning

By Chung Li-hua and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Several Taiwanese media companies on Sunday attended a media summit in China for the second time in 10 days, a source said yesterday.

Despite the government’s warning that such firms should not help spread China’s “united front” rhetoric, seven local companies attended a summit in Guangzhou on Beijing’s Greater Bay Area project, which aims to link the economies of Hong Kong and Macau with Zhaoqing, Huizhou, Guangzhou, Foshan, Jiangmen, Dongguan, Shenzhen and Zhuhai.

High-ranking officials from the Hong Kong and Macau governments, as well as the directors of the Hong Kong and Macau liaison offices attended the summit, as did 17 media agencies from the two territories.

Huang Kunming (黃坤明), a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s politburo and head of the party’s propaganda department, said that the media should increase their coverage of the project, as it would “create a beneficial atmosphere for the area.”

The project was personally planned by Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and would “demonstrate the superiority of the Chinese [economic] system,” Huang said.

Beijing has said the Greater Bay Area project would create an area that would be an example of “economic success” that Taiwan could look forward to under its “one country, two systems” framework.

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) have been given tours of the area during previous visits to China, the source said.

Representatives of Want Want China Times Media Group, the United Daily News Group, Eastern Broadcasting Co, TVBS Media and other Taiwanese media companies attended a May 10 summit in Beijing, during which Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) asked them to tout unification.

“The media’s coverage has largely benefited the ‘thawing’ of cross-strait relations and will undoubtedly prove beneficial in realizing the goal of peaceful unification and the establishment of the ‘one China, two systems’ framework,” Wang told the forum.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has said that China is pressuring Taiwanese media outlets and has told national security agencies to monitor the issue.

The National Security Bureau said it considered Wang’s comments “interference in journalistic freedom.”

The Mainland Affairs Council said that Wang used the forum as a platform to promote Beijing’s policies, create a pro-China atmosphere and advance China’s “united front” rhetoric to “divide and conquer.”

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