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.
Days after it was banned in China, a Mandarin ballad satirizing nationalistic Chinese Internet users is trending at No. 1 on YouTube in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Fragile (玻璃心), by Taiwan-based Malaysian rapper Namewee (黃明志) and Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語), offers a tongue-in-cheek apology to “little pink” Internet users, a disparaging term that describes patriotic “keyboard warriors” from China. After racking up more than 9 million views on YouTube, the song reached No. 3 on the site in Malaysia on Thursday, according to Kworb, a Web site that analyzes music data from around the world. It is also the only Chinese-language
NO CHANGE: US officials indicated that the ‘one China’ policy remains in place, while the NATO chief avoided discussing Biden’s comment in an effort to ease tensions US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday that the Pentagon would continue to support Taiwan’s military, but he declined to say if US troops would defend the island against China, after US President Joe Biden said there was a US “commitment” to do so. “As we’ve done over multiple administrations, we will continue to help Taiwan with the sorts of capabilities that it needs to defend itself,” Austin said at NATO headquarters. “So we’ll stay focused on those things, and I won’t engage in any hypotheticals with respect to Taiwan,” he told reporters. Biden on Thursday sparked a new firestorm
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,
SCENIC TRAIN TOURS: TRA Director-General Du Wei said experts on aesthetics and railway culture have worked for 10 months to restore the blue locomotive Breezy Blue, the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) tourism train, is to be launched on the South Link Line on Saturday. The railway operator spent about 10 months restoring the blue diesel-powered train, which first provided service to students and commuters before being outsourced to Lion Travel, which organizes railway tour packages. TRA Director-General Du Wei (杜微) told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony in Pingtung County’s Fangliao Township (枋寮) that the agency hopes that the restored Breezy Blue would provide an authentic experience to railway fans as well as those with fond memories of riding the blue trains to work or