The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and other pan-green parties yesterday criticized the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) championing of free speech and media freedom in connection with the National Communications Commission’s (NCC) decision not to renew CTi News’ license, citing the KMT’s actions and atrocities committed during the Martial Law era.
“It is common knowledge in Taiwan that boss of CTi News, Tsai Eng-ming (蔡衍明), has huge business interests in China, and that CTi News has acted as a spokesperson and proxy for Chinese Communist Party [CCP] in Taiwan,” the TSU said in a statement.
“After the NCC’s decision, the voices denouncing the move as ‘restricting free speech’ and ‘infringing on media freedom’ all came from the KMT, other pro-China political parties and their followers,” it said.
“These people are the least qualified to talk about freedom of speech and media freedom, but now they are speaking out to denounce the NCC for carrying out a ‘White Terror’ by denying to renew CTi News’ license,” the TSU said. “It is the chilling to hear their comments, which instill fear into our society.”
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Taiwan Statebuilding Party also issued statements.
“The DPP had always defended free speech and media freedom. The NCC is an independent body, and authorized by law to conduct review on broadcasting media license renewal for broadcasting media at end of every six years, for the public’s interest,” DPP spokesman Liu Kang-yen (劉康彥) said.
“The KMT must stop its partisan wrangling for its own interest. We urge the KMT to respect the NCC’s autonomy and the expertise and professional experience of the commissioners,” he said.
When the KMT was in power under then-president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), the government in 2010 refused to renew the license for ERA TV’s entertainment channel, while academics have said that the UK had denied to renew a TV news network’s license, he said.
“The news media are in the public domain and should serve the common interest, as they have a great influence on the society. We saw in yesterday’s statement from Reporters Without Borders [RSF] that the commission’s investigation is legitimate, and a periodic licensure review by an independent agency is standard procedure in democratic countries,” he said.
“The RSF also said it does not believe the decision had infringed on freedom of the press,” Liu said.
Taiwan Statebuilding Party officials said that the NCC’s decision was a good opportunity to make changes to Taiwan’s media landscape to better serve the public.
“Our party members welcome the move, as we had earlier listed many reasons not to renew the license, including CTi News disseminating a prodigious amount of fabricated news and disinformation, the infiltration of its ranks of elements belonging to an enemy state, its numerous violations of broadcast media regulations, and its buying other outlets to monopolize a large portion of Taiwan’s media landscape, which had, in effect, undermined media freedom,” the party said.
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