New regulations by China’s Propaganda Department on provincial and metropolitan news media could have serious implications for investigative reporting and press freedom in the country, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Wednesday — and could undermine the ability of Chinese media to obtain information about Taiwan.
The latest restrictions reportedly include a ban on exchanges of newspaper articles with media in other provinces, and a prohibition on media in metropolitan areas carrying their own reporting on national or international stories, or modifying the coverage of stories on such topics provided by state-owned media.
It remains to be seen if the regulations would apply to Chinese media operating in Taiwan.
At present, five regional Chinese media outlets operate in Taiwan. Reporters from Fujian SETV, the Fujian Daily, Xiamen TV, Hunan Television, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily and the Shenzhen Economic Daily are posted here.
Five state-owned outlets — Xinhua news agency, the People’s Daily, China Network Television, China National Radio and China News Service — also have reporters filing from Taiwan.
If the regulations are applied to Chinese media operating in Taiwan, the regional media outlets based here could be barred from providing their reporting to media in Chinese provinces, or media in metropolitan areas could be prohibited from using reporting about Taiwan from sources other than state-owned media, such as Xinhua.
The new regulations also include a call to cease all negative reporting about the police and judicial authorities.
Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper said the new regulations were implemented on July 1.
Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) regrets the ban.
“We hope every nation will respect freedom of the press. This is a value we have upheld all along,” he said yesterday.
Asked if the restrictions would affect Taiwan-based correspondents, Chiang said he didn’t know, adding the GIO would never interfere in how Chinese journalists portray Taiwan.
The Propaganda Department in four southern provinces, as well as in Beijing, has issued warnings to the editors of the main liberal news media, RSF said. Starting this month, Hunan Province newspapers have only carried dispatches from Xinhua in their international news sections. Several editors in Beijing, Guangdong and Shandong said they would stop exchanging articles with newspapers in other provinces.
Association of Taiwan Journalists (ATJ) chairman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) said the organization had noticed the Chinese government was placing more restrictions on media and NGOs.
“We must join coordinated efforts to protest against this phenomenon,” Yang told the Taipei Times by telephone. “We know that many media workers in China are trying to resist and we support them.”
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FLORA WANG AND LOA IOK-SIN
MORE ARRIVALS ALLOWED: Taiwan yesterday increased its cap on arrivals to 60,000 from 50,000 ahead of a full border opening with a weekly cap of 150,000 on Oct. 13 Travelers arriving in Taiwan from Oct. 13 would no longer be required to quarantine on arrival and visitors of all nationalities would be allowed to enter, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) announced yesterday. However, the number of arrivals would be capped at 150,000 per week, he added. Travelers aged two or older would be given four rapid antigen COVID-19 test kits on arrival and be asked to monitor their health for seven days, Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) told a news conference. Under the new arrival protocol, travelers would have to take a test on the day of arrival or the day after, followed
SOVEREIGN NATION: The Chinese premier’s remarks about the CCP’s resolve to achieve unification sought to undermine the legitimacy of Taiwan, the MAC said Taiwan will never accept Beijing’s attempts to undermine its sovereignty, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday, after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at its National Day celebrations in Beijing vowed to achieve unification with Taiwan. The CCP’s statement was not conducive to peaceful cross-strait relations, the council said. The event, hosted by the Chinese State Council, featured Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強), the other five CCP Politburo Standing Committee members and Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山), as well as 500 guests from China and abroad. Taiwanese based in China also attended the ceremony, Xinhua news agency
Washington is evaluating a transfer of weapons systems requested by Taiwan, according to a copy of a report by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) that is to be submitted to lawmakers tomorrow. Asked whether the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile would be among the weapons systems, the ministry refused to comment, but said that it would not rule out announcing the specifics later this year. The ministry’s domestically sourced high-priority military investments include submarines, next-generation light frigates, rescue ships, advanced trainer jets and infantry fighting vehicles, the report said. Planned deals include F-16A and F-16B jet performance upgrades, navigation and targeting
DEFENSE-READY: The armament of the ‘Yushan’ allows for amphibious combat operations, the head of a firm involved in the ship’s construction said The navy yesterday took delivery of the first locally developed and built naval ship of more than 10,000 tonnes in a ceremony in Kaohsiung presided over by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). The ROCS Yushan, an amphibious transport dock, was the result of a government-initiated indigenous shipbuilding project seeking to establish autonomy over national defense, Tsai said. She thanked CSBC Corp, Taiwan (台船), the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology and the navy for their contributions. The military needs the best equipment to uphold peace and defend Taiwan as it faces military threats from China, Tsai said. The 153m long and 23m wide Yushan