The Ministry of Culture might propose an amendment to regulate publications released by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) before they can enter the Taiwanese market, Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te (李永得) said yesterday.
Lee was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee.
The proposed revision pertains to Article 37 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), he said.
At present, the law stipulates that any publication, video or radio or television program from China can be imported to Taiwan to be sold and distributed with the permission of the government.
However, the law has not been strongly enforced, and the ministry wants to revise it to emphasize enforcement, focusing particularly on regulating CCP and PLA publications, he said.
CCP publications are “propaganda material” rather than “books,” he added.
Such publications need to be reviewed and approved before they can be imported to Taiwan, Lee said.
Critics argue that such a move would go against freedom of thought.
Taiwan’s democracy needs to be fortified, especially at a time when it faces constant threats from an unfriendly neighbor, Lee said.
However he said that publications produced by private individuals or associations in China would not be subject to censorship or subject to provisions in the proposed amendment.
Lee said that his ministry would consult with members of Taiwan’s publishing associations and industry players to discuss a revision to the law as soon as possible.
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