The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) is to investigate whether Xiamen Star TV (廈門衛視) contravened regulations by setting up a studio in Taiwan and producing political talk shows, the agency said.
On two of the station’s political talk shows — Across the Strait (兩岸直航) and Cross-Strait Cloud Living Room (兩岸雲客廳) — Xiamen, China-based hosts discussed cross-strait issues with well-known Taiwanese political pundits Chang Yu-hua (張友驊), Nice Tse-hsun (鈕則勳) and Hsieh Han-tung (謝寒冰), who were filmed in a studio in Taiwan.
The council on Monday said its investigation would seek to determine whether the station’s staff in Taiwan were involved in the program.
Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times
Since 2016, the government has allowed journalists from China to report from Taiwan in the interest of maintaining a pluralistic society, the MAC said.
Nearly 650 reporters from 10 Chinese broadcasters have reported from Taiwan, including those from Xinhua news agency, China National Radio, China Central Television and others, it said.
Southeast Television reporters were in 2020 expelled from Taiwan after they were found to have been “illegally producing political programs,” the council said.
Later that same year, Southeast Television began producing Diverse Voices From the Taiwan Strait (台海百家說), inviting members of the pan-blue camp to China to speak on the program, including former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) and New Party spokesman Wang Ping-chung (王炳忠).
Sources said that Chinese reporters in Taiwan do not attend MAC and Ministry of Foreign Affairs news conferences and do not include comments from Taiwanese officials in their reporting, prompting suspicions that they are engaging in “united front” tactics aimed at influencing public opinion and sowing division in Taiwan.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Michelle Lin (林楚茵) said that all broadcast media in China is under the control of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
If Chinese reporters in Taiwan are found engaging in activities unrelated to the work permitted by their visas, it warrants investigation, and if they are found to have engaged in such behavior, their permits should be revoked for contravening cross-strait regulations, she said.
The government should devise a mechanism for investigating reports of Chinese journalists engaged in the dissemination of propaganda or disinformation, so that they are denied working permits, she added.
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