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President Tsai warns of China's influence on Taiwan's media

ROC Central News Agency

2019/05/12 17:48:24

Taipei, May 12 (CNA) A call by a top Chinese official for media outlets across the Taiwan Strait to promote peaceful unification demonstrates that China has put pressure on Taiwanese media organizations, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Sunday.

Tsai said she has long noticed that domestic media outlets have been under pressure from China, without naming the outlets or citing how many were affected, and that the remark by Wang Yang (汪洋) vindicated her belief.

This constitutes obstruction of Taiwan's democracy, domestic freedom of the press and interference in Taiwan's internal affairs, Tsai said on the sidelines of an event for university students.

"We want to condemn this," she said.

Tsai was referring to a rhetorical barrage by Wang, chairman of the 13th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, at the opening of a media summit a day earlier in Beijing attended by more than 200 representatives from 100 media organizations from Taiwan and China.

In the era of China's "great rejuvenation," the trends of the times are on China's side, Wang contended, arguing that "Taiwan independence" and "foreign forces" are basically lost causes and that the trends pushing cross-strait relations forward cannot be obstructed by anyone or any forces.

Media outlets across the strait should shoulder the social responsibility of maintaining and promoting the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, Wang urged.

Tsai said she will ask national security agencies to continue keeping a close watch on China intensifying pressure on Taiwanese media outlets.

The president was also asked about former President Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) criticism that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party administration's opposition to proposed free economic zones was simply for the sake of opposing China.

Tsai said the promotion of a free economic zone was incompatible with Taiwan's most pressing need, which is to bolster the overall competitiveness of Taiwan's economy and have companies enter a new phase rather than remaining the era of processing goods for export.

She argued that many have proposed establishing a free economic zone in Taiwan to be able to process Chinese products before exporting them, but that could cause Chinese goods to be mistaken for Taiwanese goods in the international market and hurt the image of Taiwanese brands, Tsai said.

Also, as trade friction between the United States and China has intensified, the U.S. has increased its punitive tariffs on Chinese imports, and under those circumstances, Taiwan should prevent Chinese goods from being confused for Taiwanese goods, she said.

Meanwhile, asked to respond to Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je's (柯文哲) criticism that her foreign policy strategy revolves around being friendly to the U.S. to counter China's threat, Tsai said that interpretation was imprecise and overly simplified.

Her policy is to safeguard Taiwan's sovereignty and its democratic and free lifestyle, maintain peace and stability across the strait and contribute to peace and stability in the region.

(By Yeh Su-ping and Evelyn Kao)

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