The government is investigating 87 Taiwanese allegedly working for the Chinese government after reporter Chang Ching-yi (張經義) was found to be employed by a Chinese state-run news agency, a source familiar with the matter said.
Chang, a White House correspondent for Shanghai Dragon TV, generated controversy at a White House news briefing on April 8 when he was asked by US President Donald Trump where he was from.
Instead of saying he represented the Chinese television station, Chang said that he was from Taiwan.
Photo: Video grab from the whitehouse.gov Web site
Shanghai Dragon TV is a member of Shanghai Media Group, a state-owned mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Article 33 of the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) prohibits Taiwanese from working for Chinese political, military and government organizations, with offenders facing fines of NT$100,000 to NT$500,000 (US$3,339 to US$16,694).
The National Communications Commission has formed a task force to investigate Chang, it said last week, but added that it would allow Chang to state his case before determining a penalty.
Over the past few years, the government has fined 37 Taiwanese NT$4.5 million for working for such organizations in China. Thirty-three worked as assistants to borough wardens, two worked as members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), one was a deputy director of an innovation center and one was a deputy director of a business recruitment bureau.
The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) fined Ling Yu-shih (凌友詩) NT$500,000 for working as a CPPCC member, but Ling has not yet paid the penalty, an official said on condition of anonymity.
Ling sparked controversy after enthusiastically singing China’s praises, while describing herself as a “girl from Taiwan” at a CPPCC meeting in March last year.
Despite maintaining her household registration in Taiwan, Ling has not returned to Taiwan since the CPPCC meeting, so the government has not been able to collect the fine, the official said.
Several government agencies — including the MOI, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Education and the Council of Agriculture — are investigating an additional 87 cases of Taiwanese illicitly working in China, the official added.
A technology correspondent, a judge’s assistant, various posts at state-run enterprises and a Taipei-based stringer for Chinese state-run tabloid the Global Times are among the jobs being investigated, the official said.
In related news, the CPPCC’s National Committee advised that the 13th conference be held on May 21 in Beijing, while the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress announced that the congress is to be held on May 22 in Beijing.
Both had been postponed from their original dates at the beginning of last month, as China had not yet contained its COVID-19 outbreak, Chinese media reported.
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