In Suppressing Free Speech, Premier Su Has Final Say
By Liu Bao-chun, China Times, July 4, 2020
Two mainland Chinese reporters from China's Southeast Television were expelled from Taiwan recently because they "carried out work beyond the scope of work they have applied to do in Taiwan." This is yet another maneuver by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the spirit of "anti-China" mentality. Premier Su Tseng-chang's comment that the punishment is "just right" not only carters to the popularism but also exposes DPP's intention to suppress the freedom of speech via this case.
Because of their different political views, the news coverage by mainland Chinese reporters naturally will not be the same with the Taiwanese media, most of which just sing the song of praise. But as long as the coverage does not concern with national security issues, it should be protected by the freedom of speech. This should be the true spirit of Taiwan’s democracy and freedom.
The accusation by the DPP, such as "set up studios," "host TV programs," are means of news coverage commonly used by the Taiwanese media as well as mainland Chinese reporters. How come they became violation of "work beyond the scope of reporting?" As a matter of fact, the television programs produced by mainland reporters are meant for mainland television viewers. When Taiwan allowed mainland reporters to be posted here in 2000, the difference in views should be expected. Then how come what is right in the past became wrong in the present days and punishment imposed forcefully.
This is "kill the chicken to scare the monkey" tactic by the DPP. It not only warns mainland Chinese reporters still at work in Taiwan, it also scares the minority Taiwanese media and individual who have expressed different views from the DPP in the past. From now on, if these minorities dare to criticize the DPP's political views, they could be subject to punishment at any moment. Premier Su's comment that the punishment is "just right" is enough to suppress all other different views in the future.
Premier Su's comment flouts the law and is an arrogant one, which matches his over-bearing style. The so-called "just right" means "you deserve it." Premier Su has the final say. How horrible is this!
The market share of mainland Chinese television programs in Taiwan is very small. The television programs they produced in Taiwan provide mainland viewers with a concrete picture of Taiwan. This is a benign exchange. Expelling mainland reporters only show a lack of confidence on the part of Taiwan, a very awkward move by the DPP.
But why did the DPP resort to this move and added the comment "It's just right?" This is a preliminary move for the DPP's autocracy. Taiwanese media and individual with different views now will probably zip their lips out of fear that their channels of expression might be banned.
The freedom of speech used to be part of the DPP's purpose and should remain so. But Premier Su's comment runs counter to this goal. As such, Taiwan's democracy and freedom might regress to the martial law period. This is no joke!