Taiwan will not tolerate fake news reporters from China: MAC
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, June 27 (CNA) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Wednesday that while it supports press freedom for Chinese journalists based in Taiwan, it will not allow those who spread false rumors and report "fake news" to work here.
The MAC was referring to a case in which a Chinese reporter falsely reported in February that Japanese rescuers who had just arrived at a collapsed building after an earthquake in Hualien refused to "go into the building on a search and rescue mission because of their fear of danger."
The fact is they were waiting outside the building, listening to a briefing by local rescue team leaders, MAC said, adding that international rescue teams are required to follow the instructions of local teams.
Ye Qinglin, the China Southeast TV reporter who filed the story on the Japanese rescue team's response to the briefing, went on to say that if they were mainland Chinese rescuers, they would have rushed into the tilted building to save lives.
At the time, Ye's report stirred up strong emotions among Taiwanese and Chinese readers as many believed it was an accurate account.
When Ye later applied to re-enter Taiwan on a news coverage assignment, he was turned down last week. On Wednesday, MAC's Beijing counterpart, the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), said the rejection of Ye's application was "unreasonable."
"The Democratic Progressive Party authorities' unreasonable rejection [of Ye's application] has set a bad precedent in the history of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait stationing journalists in each other's jurisdiction," said TAO spokesman Ma Xiaoguang.
In response, MAC said in a press statement that the decision to turn down Ye's request was based on the relevant laws and due procedures after the National Immigration Agency called several meetings of relevant government authorities.
"The government has been open-minded in regard to news exchanges between the two sides of the strait and posting reporters on the other side," it said.
It is hoped that when Chinese media are allowed to station reporters in Taiwan, they will produce objective and balanced news stories that will help their readers and audiences gain in-depth knowledge about Taiwan and hence deepen mutual understanding across the strait, MAC said.
To maintain normal and orderly exchanges across the strait, MAC said, the responsible government agencies will continue in their roles as gatekeepers.
(By Scarlett Chai and S.C. Chang)
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