CCP reporter who told Trump he was from Taiwan faces stiff fine

China-based journo who posed as Taiwanese reporter faces heavy fine

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Trump (left), Chang (right). (YouTube, screenshots)

Trump (left), Chang (right). (YouTube, screenshots)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwanese national who works for a Chinese state-run agency is facing a stiff fine after he posed as a reporter from a Taiwanese media outlet when asking U.S. President Donald Trump a question at the White House.

During a White House press conference on April 9, a reporter began to ask a question on behalf of foreign media, but Trump cut him off and asked him "where are you from?" In response, the reporter, who was later identified as Chang Ching-yi (張經義), said, "I am from Taiwan," to which Trump simply said, "Good."

However, local Taiwanese media outlets quickly pointed out that although the man was born in Taiwan, he currently works for Shanghai Media Group, which is a state-owned mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Many Taiwanese netizens were furious at Chang, suggesting that he is a traitor with comments such as "He doesn't dare reveal he has taken CCP money and instead mentions Taiwan."

At a press conference on Thursday (April 16), Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister and Spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said that because Chang is a Taiwanese citizen but works directly for a propaganda arm of the CCP, he has violated the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, reported Liberty Times. Specifically, Chiu said that Chang had breached Article 33, paragraph 2, which prohibits citizens from engaging in "Any cooperative activity involving political nature with any individual, juristic person, organization, or other institution of the Mainland Area."

Chiu said that Chang could be subject to a fine of between NT$100,000 (US$3,300) and NT$500,000. He said the authorities will investigate the incident and deal with it in accordance with the law as soon as possible.

The incident came hot on the heels of a similar case on April 6 in which Trump asked reporter Wang You-you if she was "working for China?" She deceptively responded by saying, "I'm working for Hong Kong Phoenix TV."

When Trump asked her "Who owns that, China?" she responded by saying, "It's based in Hong Kong." Trump pursued the issue further, asking, "Is it owned by China... is it owned by the state?"

She then disingenuously answered: "No, it's not. It's a privately owned company." In fact, a former People's Liberation Army (PLA) officer owns Phoenix TV, Liu Changle (劉長樂), who according to Freedom House has "close ties to Beijing officials" and presents reports that are "typically favorable to the CCP."

China's state-run China Central Television (CCTV) also reportedly holds a 10 percent stake in Phoenix TV. A former director of Phoenix TV news, Chung Pong, testified at an FCC filing that the station's content is "subject to the dictates of the leadership of the Central Communist Propaganda Department, Central Communist Overseas Propaganda Office, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."