The visas of two journalists from China were not renewed yesterday after Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council and Ministry of Culture investigated allegations that several Chinese news outlets had been producing and broadcasting political shows from Taiwan.
"The two Southeast Television journalists have reached their (credentials') expiration date, it's just a coincidence that the government isn't renewing (their papers)," said Premier Su Tseng-chang.
On Thursday night, Deputy Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chiu Chui-cheng said that it had been working with the Ministry of Culture to investigate Chinese news outlets which have rented studios or set up work spaces in Taiwan.
Chinese media outlets are allowed to rent studios from local broadcasters in Taiwan, but are prohibited from producing or hosting political talk shows.
One of the journalists, Ms Ai Kezhu, said Southeast Television had posted correspondents to Taiwan for about 12 years and that she had arrived to work on the island last December.
There are currently 10 Chinese media outlets with journalists in Taiwan, the Ministry of Culture said in a statement to The Straits Times yesterday.
"The Ministry respects and protects the freedom of press, but some media have been producing shows in Taiwan that do not align with the government's initial objective in allowing Chinese media to cover news in Taiwan. This has violated the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area and laws that regulate Chinese journalist activities in Taiwan," the statement added.
China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Zhu Fenglian yesterday said that Beijing had been following the expulsion of the two journalists closely.
Referring to the ruling party in Taiwan, she said: "The Democratic Progressive Party is unreasonably suppressing the normal news reporting activities of Chinese media outlets and their correspondents. This reveals the hypocrisy of what they claim to be 'freedom of press'."