Taiwan to investigate Hong Kong newspaper over ‘fake news’

Ta Kung Pao described Taiwanese journalist as secret envoy for President Tsai

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Ta Kung Pao claimed a secret envoy from President Tsai had met Hong Kong independence activists (screenshot from cn.takungpao.com)

Ta Kung Pao claimed a secret envoy from President Tsai had met Hong Kong independence activists (screenshot from cn.takungpao.com)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Thursday it would investigate a reporter for Hong Kong’s Ta Kung Pao (大公報) newspaper after it wrongly alleged that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had sent a secret envoy to meet with Hong Kong independence activists.

The Mandarin-language newspaper published a picture of a man it described as the envoy, but who turned out to be a journalist for Taiwan’s Liberty Times.

The MAC said the Ta Kung Pao reporter had apparently entered Taiwan as a tourist without registering he was here to work, which implied he had broken the law, the Central News Agency reported.

In its Wednesday frontpage story, the Hong Kong paper alleged that several members of a Hong Kong independence student group had traveled to Taiwan and met with Tsai’s envoy at the Academia Historica, an institution resorting under the Presidential Office.

The Ta Kung Pao described the person the activists met as “secretive” and suggested he was an aide to the president.

The MAC dismissed the report as “fake news” unworthy of a serious media organization and added it would let the relevant authorities investigate whether the Ta Kung Pao reporter had broken any laws. The Hong Kong students had traveled to Taiwan at the invitation of friends on the island, reports said.