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Taiwan Reporter Resigned from Want China Times Because of the Newspaper’s Pro-China Change

A veteran news reporter, Liao Zhaoxiang, resigned from the Want China Times, one of the largest news media in Taiwan, criticizing the media because it has changed its position, lost its stance, and become an echo of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Some background about the Want China Times follows: The China Times is a daily Chinese newspaper, one of the four largest newspapers in Taiwan. In the early 2000s, it purchased China Television and Chung T’ien Television and thus became a big media group in Taiwan. In 2008, the owner of the Want Want group, a Taiwan businessman who went to mainland China and focused on the market there, bought China Times and, in 2009, created the Want China Times Group. The newspaper has become a pro-CCP newspaper. Chien-Jung Hsu of National Dong Hwa University stated, “Want China Times seems to be a representative of the Xinhua News Agency in Taiwan.”

The New Talk website published Liao’s resignation letter that he sent to the management of the Want China Times. In his letter, Liao said that the main reason he chose to leave was that the company not only does not care about the first-line reporters’ judgments; it has also severely damaged Taiwan’s freedom of the press and democracy. He has become completely heart-broken and given up.

Liao pointed out that when he interviewed people, he was frequently criticized because the media created fake news. It was hard for him to defend the company because what people said was true.

Liao further pointed out that his conscience would not allow him to continue working there anymore. “If the company is selling a ‘social drug’ using the lie that it is letting employees get rich, turning news reporting into the  splitting of Taiwan society and creating social conflicts, then as employees, can we just tell people, ‘It is not my fault because I just did what my boss told me to do’? The reality is that society will view us as an accomplice.”

“My son is a fourth-grader. He is interested in history. He knows that China is a totalitarian country, without democracy, rule of law, or freedom of the press. He asked me one day, ‘Dad, you are a reporter. Why does your company keep saying bad things about Taiwan and praise mainland China when it does not have freedom of the press and arrests news reporters and human rights attorneys at will? If someday Taiwan is taken over by the CCP, will you be put in prison? What should I do?’ I couldn’t answer him, but instead kept silent.”

“Even a fourth-grader understands this basic principle. All my managers, do you know what kind of government you are supporting and what editorial policy you are taking? Do you know what you are doing is killing the freedom of press in Taiwan?”

Liao also criticized China Times for removing all materials from its website that are related to the Tiananmen Massacre, including the news and photos that China Times’ own reporter Xu Zongmao brought back. He was actually shot and has a PLA soldier’s bullet in his head from when he was doing news reporting in Beijing at that time.

1. New Talk website, June 21, 2019
2. Wikipedia