《TAIPEI TIMES》Government expels PRC journalists amid probe
Chinese reporters Ai Kezhu, left, and Lu Qiang from Southeast Television yesterday take an escalator at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on their way to board a flight back to China. Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows
By Chu Pei-hsiung, Chung Li-hua and Jake Chung / Staff reporters, with staff writer and CNA
Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan.
The two reporters — Ai Kezhu （艾珂竹） and Lu Qiang （盧薔） — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year.
The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows.
Council Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng （邱垂正） on Thursday said that the council had been keeping a close watch on Chinese reporters based in Taiwan, and that it maintains close contact with the Ministry of Culture to deal with Chinese journalists if they are involved in any breaches of the nation’s laws.
Taiwan in 2000 opened up to Chinese reporters based on a policy of promoting journalism exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, allowing them to cover local news.
If TV news programming had been produced in Taiwan, then the Chinese journalists must have contravened the law, Chiu said.
In such cases, the government can revoke their accreditation and work permit, and impose entry restrictions according to the Items of Note for Reporters from the Mainland Area Reporting in Taiwan （大陸地區新聞人員進入臺灣地區採訪注意事項）, the Act on Permission for Entrance of People of the Mainland Area Into the Taiwan Area （大陸地區人民進入臺灣地區許可辦法） and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area （臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例）, he said.
However, the council did not confirm that the journalists had been expelled because of the content of the programs.
The Ministry of Culture said that it sent a formal notice to Southeast Television on Tuesday, demanding changes to its operations in Taiwan.
The ministry did not say how the TV station had responded and why the journalists were ordered to leave in the same week as the the warning was issued.
Ai yesterday said that Southeast Television had been operating in Taiwan for 12 years and every member of the media outlet had complied with Taiwanese laws.
“Our job in Taiwan is to interview people and ask questions; we don’t make TV programs in Taiwan,” Ai said.
Southeast Television journalists had not made any appearances on political talk shows or offered any personal opinions, she said.
Separately yesterday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokeswoman Zhu Fonglian （朱鳳蓮） said that the Democratic Progressive Party （DPP） authorities should cease their “arbitrary oppression” of the journalistic freedom of Chinese reporters or “shoulder the consequences.”
Driving Lu and Ai out of Taiwan highlighted the DPP’s hypocrisy regarding journalistic freedom, she said.
The objective reporting of Taiwanese issues by Chinese reporters over many years had helped Chinese viewers better understand Taiwan, Zhu said, adding that the rights of Chinese reporters should be protected and respected.