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Taiwan's interior minister gets in shouting match with pro-China reporter over HK suspect

Taiwan's Interior Minister Hsu warns pro-China reporter to 'be polite' when accused of lying

Hsu Kuo-yung (left).

Hsu Kuo-yung (left). (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese Interior Minister Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) blamed the Hong Kong government for allowing a murderer to walk free before being accosted by a pro-China reporter.

As he was heading to the Legislative Yuan's Internal Administration Committee on Thursday (Oct. 24) to present a report titled "The Situation with Crimes and Prosecutions in Hong Kong and Taiwan," Hsu was questioned by reporters about the handling of the Hong Kong suitcase murder suspect case. Hsu said, "The Hong Kong government has allowed the murderer to walk free, not only in Hong Kong but also in Taiwan, which is absolutely unacceptable."

A reporter asked him why the government had previously refused to allow the suspect, Chan Tong-kai (陳同佳), entry into Taiwan only to reverse course later. Hsu said the government had never prevented Chan from coming to Taiwan.

The reporter then asked if Taiwan's policy had been changed in favor of the "one China trap." Hsu responded by saying, "You're thinking too much. Taiwan is absolutely opposed to one country, two systems. How can there be a 'one China trap?'"

The journalist then asked why the policy toward Chan had changed. Hsu responded by saying, "The policy is the same as before. Don't try to frame Taiwan into the 'one China trap,' this is is an improper intention."

The reporter then provoked Hsu by saying, "Do you mean you are looking at the evidence and denying it?" Hsu countered by saying, "You should be more polite" and started to walk away.

The reporter responded by claiming, "These are facts." Hsu then turned back and angrily shouted at the reporter: "You're interviewing a minister. Don't ask the minister if he looked at the evidence and denied it. Be polite!"

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators in the committee were incensed at the reporter's behavior. They quickly questioned what work unit he was from and asked if he could "raise his standards."

The reporter then claimed that he was from China Times, which is owned by the pro-China media conglomerate Want Want China Times Group, and asked, "Can officials have a consistent attitude?" The legislators responded by saying, "You should learn how to behave yourself!"

China Times has since confirmed that the man is one of its reporters and identified him as Lan Hsiao-wei (藍孝威). In a China Times report, Lan denied rumors that he had a Beijing accent, insisting that he was born and raised in Taipei.