Taiwanese news media insist on press freedom and professionalism, and would never become a tool of China’s “united front” campaign, Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said yesterday, responding to media queries about the lack of Taiwanese media executives at the Cross-Strait Media People Summit in Beijing.
Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Chairman Wang Huning (王滬寧) was reportedly furious that no Taiwanese media representatives attended a scheduled meeting with him on Thursday last week.
“Beijing should take Taiwan’s determination to pursue freedom and democracy seriously. We also hope that it will not use vicious means to interfere with Taiwan’s development into a free and stable country,” Chen said.
Photo: Huang Tzu-yang, Taipei Times
“Cross-strait relations should proceed through democratic dialogue on the basis of peace and equality, which would help facilitate healthy and orderly cross-strait exchanges,” he said. “Most importantly, we are seeing that Taiwanese news media insist on press freedom and professionalism, and would never become a tool to be used for the CCP’s [Chinese Communist Party] ‘united front’ campaign to influence or viciously suppress Taiwan.”
Thirty Taiwanese news media executives were invited to attend the four-day summit, which ended on Saturday, a plan by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office showed.
Wang attended the summit and had three goals: The summit should create an atmosphere conducive to discussing the Taiwanese version of China’s “one country, two systems” formula and the beginning of “democratic negotiations;” it should stick closely to discussing cross-strait relations as being “a choice between war and peace,” making it a mainstream agenda among Taiwanese; and it should offer an extremely positive outlook of the Chinese economy to encourage more Taiwanese businesspeople to invest in China.
A source familiar with the matter told the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) that Taiwanese media executives were wary of the meeting with Wang, due to Taiwan’s presidential election next year.
During their meeting with then-CPPCC chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) at the summit in 2019, Wang lectured them about peaceful unification and China’s “one country, two systems” formula, sparking criticism from the Taiwanese public.
Many executives had little interest in attending the summit for fear they would be labeled as tools for China’s “united front” campaign, the source said.
Although the Taiwan Affairs Office merged the Cross-Strait Media People Summit and Chinese Culture Summit, it failed again to draw mainstream media executives from Taiwan, the source said.
Eventually, it held a small marketing event for small and medium-sized media outlets, local radio stations and online media outlets from Taiwan, the source said.
Wang Huning has reportedly been ordered to maximize efforts to encourage Taiwanese of all levels to attend the Straits Forum on June 18 — from political parties, groups and local officials to temple management.
The purpose of such an aggressive campaign is to influence Taiwan’s presidential election next year, the source said.
“The CCP intends to weaken Taiwan’s sovereignty, intervene in the presidential election and steal Taiwan’s funds and technology,” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said. “On the positive side, few media outlets are willing to put on a show for China. However, the government should investigate the legal responsibilities of media and political parties who join China’s ‘united front’ work to intervene in the elections in Taiwan.”
Indonesia has sent hundreds of riot police to a tiny island after protests broke out against a China-backed project that would displace thousands of residents. About 1,000 people protested in Batam City on Monday over a plan to develop Rempang island into a Chinese-funded economic zone, including the construction of a multibillion-dollar glass factory, that would displace about 7,500 people. Some protesters clashed with security forces outside a government agency, wielding machetes, Molotov cocktails and stones, police said, adding that dozens were arrested. Beijing has poured money into infrastructure and resource projects in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy and its investments have previously caused
‘HARASSMENT’: A record 103 Chinese warplanes were detected in 24 hours, posing severe challenges to security in the Taiwan Strait and the region, the ministry said Taiwan yesterday told China to stop its “destructive unilateral actions” after more than 100 Chinese warplanes and nine navy ships were detected in areas around the nation. The Ministry of National Defense (MND) described the number of warplanes detected in 24 hours as a “recent high,” while Beijing has so far refrained from issuing any official comment on the sorties. “Between the morning of September 17th to 18th, the Ministry of National Defense had detected a total of 103 Chinese aircraft, which was a recent high and has posed severe challenges to the security across the Taiwan Strait and in the region,”
CALL FOR PEACE: Czech President Petr Pavel raised concerns about China’s military maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait and its ‘unfriendly action’ in the South China Sea The leaders of three diplomatic allies — Guatemala, Paraguay and Palau — on Tuesday voiced support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN on the first day of the UN General Debate in New York. In his address during the 78th UN General Assembly, Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr urged the UN and all parties involved in cross-strait issues to exercise restraint and seek a peaceful resolution. “The well-being and prosperity of nations and their economies are intrinsically linked to global peace and stability,” he said. He also thanked partner nations such as Taiwan, Australia, Japan and the US for providing assistance
China would be making “a grave strategic mistake” if it tried to attack Taiwan, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley said in an interview with CNN that aired on Sunday. Asked by host Fareed Zakaria whether the US could repel a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, Milley said: “It is entirely possible.” Milley reiterated that the US still maintains the Taiwan Relations Act, and that it wants “a peaceful outcome between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China, and whatever that is between those two peoples.” “Militarily, I think China would make a grave strategic mistake if they attempted to