Go TO Content

Mainland Affairs Council

What's New

Taiwan’s Media and Press Independence is Protected by Laws which Strictly Prohibit Foreign Infiltration and Interference in the Workings of Taiwan’s Free and Democratic Society

  • Date:2019-07-17

Date: July 17, 2019
MAC Press Release No. 69

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has long taken advantage of Taiwan’s open and democratic society to carry out united front infiltration activities across all sectors of society and intervene in Taiwan’s elections. In extending its reach into Taiwan's media and interfering with the independence of Taiwan's press, the CCP uses distortion to spread false information, with the aim of altering public understanding [of key issues] in ways that benefit political candidates with pro-Beijing views. This phenomenon has intensified as we enter pre-election period. The people of Taiwan are no strangers to the CCP’s externally-oriented “red infiltration” campaigns and its approach to controlling foreign media, which have become the targets of joint prevention efforts by the international community. 

The investigative report in a major international media outlet illustrated the CCP’s crude electoral intervention and meddling in Taiwan’s politics. The response to the report issued by mainland China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) today (July 17), with its predictable reactions of shifting blame and distortion, exemplifies the contemptible tactics it employs when its illicit attempts at intervention are brought to light. The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) hereby calls upon Beijing to stop its inferior doings, and not to be deluded into thinking that it can apply its own domestic media suppression techniques to Taiwan. The MAC also calls upon Taiwan’s media and people from all parts of society to recognize the CCP’s political ambitions regarding Taiwan, to refrain from cooperating with the CCP’s manipulation, and to work together in defending Taiwan’s hard-won democracy, its rule of law, and its fair and just elections. 

Under amendments to Articles 2-1 and 5-1 of the National Security Act promulgated by the President on July 3, 2019, people are prohibited from establishing, sponsoring, hosting, manipulating, commanding, or developing organizations for mainland China, and those intending to endanger national security or social stability shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than seven years, and may be fined a sum of not less than NT$50 million and not more than NT$100 million. As to the reported finding that a certain media conglomerate has long been taking editorial instructions from mainland China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, and whether this behavior implicates violations of the National Security Act, is in the hands of the prosecutors to pursue further investigation. 

Regarding regulations to prohibit political agents of the CCP, the Democratic Progressive Party caucus has submitted amendments to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (hereinafter referred to as Cross-Strait Act) for review in the Legislative Yuan. Another set of proposed amendments to the three major laws governing terrestrial and satellite broadcast media would prohibit those receiving major economic benefits from mainland China from operating Taiwanese media outlets, and is also awaiting legislative review. Moreover, attached to the passage of amendments to the National Security Act, during an extraordinary session of the Legislative Yuan, was a resolution calling for the priority review of amendments to the aforementioned three major media laws and to the Cross-Strait Act that would address responses by the competent authorities to broadcast media outlets that transmit disinformation endangering national security. These measures taken are to ensure media freedom in Taiwan. The MAC hopes that the executive and legislative branches can engage in concerted cooperation during the upcoming legislative session to improve our country’s democratic safety net and protect our national security and social interests.