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Taiwan’s “CCP Agent” Legislation Targets Pro-Beijing Media

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen recently highlighted the situation of mainland China’s all-round infiltration into the island, against the backdrop of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s proposal of “one country, two systems” for Taiwan earlier this year. Tsai told the media that for the sake of national security, the government will push for Chinese Communist Party (CCP) agent legislation.

In May 2019, nearly 70 Taiwanese media attended the 4th Cross-Strait Media People Summit, hosted by China’s Beijing Daily and Taiwan based Want Want China Times Media Group. On July 16th, the Financial Times published a report, alleging Want Want-owned media outlets the China Times and CtiTV were taking orders on a daily basis from China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) on how to prepare their news.

A month ago, on June 23, a demonstration was held in Taipei against the “red media.” Thousands of people took to the streets to protest the Want Want group.

A former China Times reporter told BBC Chinese that, since the Want Want Group purchased the China Times, the newspaper has given priority to cross-strait news. For example, if there is a Chinese Communist Party official visiting Taiwan, the reporter may have to give up other pre-scheduled reporting activities and cover the Chinese official instead, even if the story is not newsworthy.

China Times was founded in 1950, originally a newspaper with considerable credibility in Taiwan. In 1986, its daily circulation reached as high as 1.2 million. In November 2008, after the Want Want Group gained ownership of the paper, its style gradually changed toward the position of being pro-Beijing. After 2014, China Times underwent a massive revision. Its new motto became “identifying with China, true love of Taiwan, and unification at last.” In June of 2019, during the 30 year anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, stories of a China Times senior reporter being shot by the People’s Liberation Army in 1989, and a series of related in-depth reports were all removed from its website.

The former reporter believes that it is necessary to expose the relationship between such institutions and foreign forces. Such a relationship should be made public showing whether the content of the media represents a particular group or regime, and readers should be allowed to obtain complete information.

Source: BBC Chinese, July 25, 2019