Taiwan elections: mainland Chinese reporters on short-term permits ‘can only observe’ as island votes for new president

Taiwan voters will head to the polls on January 13 for presidential and legislative elections. Photo: Reuters
Published January 4, 2024
  • Post reporter with mainland China passport among journalists forced to cancel travel plans because of restriction
  • Also, for the first time in decades, no mainland academics will be visiting Taiwan to observe the elections either
Reporters from around the world are converging on Taiwan as the island prepares to vote for a new president in less than 10 days. However, those coming in from mainland China face especially strict barriers on reporting on the January 13 presidential and legislative elections.

A Taiwanese immigration official, who declined to be named, said mainland journalists on short-term permits “can only observe” but were not allowed to write anything about the elections, even if they cleared the application process to visit the island.

The restriction, which was not in place during previous elections held every four years, caused a mainland Chinese reporter from the South China Morning Post to cancel plans to fly to Taiwan.

Journalists of non-mainland background from the same organisation, however, were not affected. It also does not affect mainland reporters based in Taiwan, who are allowed to cover the election.

The reporting restriction, which appears to target mainland citizens, comes against the backdrop of a spike in distrust and hostility between Taipei and Beijing in the lead-up to the widely watched election.


SOURCE: www.scmp.com

RELATED: Taiwan detects two Chinese balloons in new year

Taiwanese Air Force pilots walk inside an airbase during the visit of President Tsai Ing-wen (not pictured) in Hsinchu, Taiwan on April 1, 2022. Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA-EFE/File
Published January 2, 2024

TAIPEI — Two Chinese balloons were detected moving across the median line separating Taiwan from China, with one flying directly above the island, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence said Tuesday.

The balloons were seen crossing the median line over the Taiwan Strait — a sensitive waterway separating the island from China — late January 1 at two locations, one near the western city of Chiayi and another by Keelung in the north.

An accompanying graphic released by the ministry showed one balloon headed east directly above the island after appearing northwest of Chiayi on the western coast.

They were at “the altitude of approximately 30,000 and 32,000 feet (9-10 kilometers),” it said in a statement.


SOURCE: www.news.abs-cbn.com

RELATED: Taiwan and China will ‘surely be reunified’ says Xi in New Year’s Eve address

President Xi struck a more strident tone on Taiwan in his annual New Year’s Eve address
Published January 1, 2024

Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his annual New Year’s Eve address, reiterated his claim that Taiwan would “surely be reunified” with China.

His message comes ahead of Taiwan’s crucial 13 January elections that will determine the island’s cross-strait policy for the next four years.

He also struck a stronger tone than last year’s message, where he spoke of Taiwan being part of the “same family”.

China has ramped up military pressure on Taiwan ahead of the elections.

It sees the self-ruled island of 23 million as a breakaway province that will eventually be under Beijing’s control. Taiwan considers itself distinct from the Chinese mainland, with its own constitution and democratically elected leaders.

Separately, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said in her New Year’s address that the island’s relations with China must be decided by the “will of the Taiwanese people”. Her government has repeatedly warned that Beijing is trying to interfere in the election, where a new president and government will be chosen.

Taiwan’s Kuomintang party (KMT) has traditionally favoured warmer ties with Beijing – though it denies being pro-China. The KMT’s main rival, Ms Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has ruled Taiwan for the past eight years and takes a stronger line towards China – insisting it is sovereign and not a part of China.


SOURCE: www.bbc.com



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