TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An online Polish TV channel recently broadcast an open declaration of support for Taiwanese independence.
The message, which can be viewed on YouTube, came from channel “idź Pod Prąd,” which roughly translates as “go against the current.”
Two hosts talking in Chinese and English respectively announced that as 2018 is Poland’s 100th year of independence, the Polish people offer their support to Taiwan in its struggle against Communist China, and encourage Taiwan to declare independence. The video then cuts to clips of other locals expressing support for an independent Taiwan.
Poland is regarded as the most religious country in Europe and mainstream media is often infiltrated by both pro-government and pro-Christianity messages. U.S.-based human rights NGO Freedom House have declared that media pluralism is currently under attack in Poland.
After right-wing party Law and Justice won the 2015 parliamentary elections, they began to replace TV and radio executives with party members, turning stations into party mouthpieces. According to reports, evening broadcasts now largely consist of pro-party propaganda extoling the government’s achievements.
idź Pod Prąd, while still labeling itself a proponent of Christian values, says the channel’s mission is to defy dogmatic teachings and broadcasting norms to present an unbiased view of reality from which audiences can independently deduce their own conclusions. It warns viewers they are likely to encounter opinions that conflict with those commonly promoted.
Poland’s communist affiliations throughout most of the 20th Century meant its relationship with Taiwan was almost non-existent. The country continues to recognize the PRC as the sole representative of the Chinese people and thus Taiwan is always regarded as a Chinese province in mainstream Polish media.
Dealings between the two nations have picked up recently, however, with Poland signing a tax agreement and a solar energy deal with Taiwan, as both countries are heavily committed to investing in renewable energy sources.
Premier William Lai was asked to comment on the matter before a consultation at the Legislative Yuan yesterday morning. Lai’s response was that the support of like-minded countries shows Taiwan is not alone (德不孤必有鄰.)