TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s top office handling cross-strait affairs, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), explained Wednesday that a Chinese reporter had been denied entry to Taiwan due to his past fake news articles.
Yeh Ching-lin (葉青林) from China’s Southeast Television has accused Taiwan’s government of turning down his application this month to work and report in Taiwan. He claimed his earlier report, which suggested that a Japanese rescue team sent to the site of the Hualien earthquake in February had refused to properly conduct their tasks in dangerous areas, was held against him and used as reasoning to deny his entry permit.
However, the MAC contradicted Yeh’s claim. In a statement issued on Wednesday evening, the MAC said the government “respects and protects freedom of press,” but it cannot tolerate Chinese journalists “producing fake news” and “spreading false claims.”
The MAC also said as a democratic and free society, the authorities in Taiwan are dedicated to preserving exchanges of news media across the Taiwan Strait, including allowing reporters from China to work and even be based in Taiwan.
The applications of Chinese reporters are reviewed by competent authorities under the regulations governing who from China may enter and work in Taiwan, added the MAC.
While Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光), spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, criticized Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party for “an unreasonable rejection to Yeh’s application” and setting a “bad example” through a press release published on the office website on Wednesday, the MAC defended its decision by saying Chinese journalists who wish to work in Taiwan should provide “objective and balanced reports.”