Reporting on Taiwanese President’s inauguration restricted in China

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) criticised the recent actions of the Chinese Government in censoring the reporting of the inauguration ceremony of Taiwanese President, Tsai Ing-wen, on May 20, 2016. The IFJ calls on the Chinese Government to immediately end its policy of censorship which continues to hinder press freedom in China.

On May 18, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (SAPPRFT) issued a directive to all online media outlets, stating that they were prohibited from conducting or republishing live broadcasting of the up-coming inauguration ceremony on their websites.

On May 20, a second directive was issued from the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) which ordered all media outlets that were reporting on the presidential inauguration to republish government-produced content only, as they were forbidden from generating their own. Strict internet censoring also ensured that any endorsements of Taiwanese independence published on Chinese social media platforms were immediately deleted.

The Chinese Government was concerned after President Tsai had failed to explicitly endorse the “One China” principle in her speech, which recognises that Taiwan and China are a unified nation. Instead Ms Tsai merely stated that she, “respected the joint acknowledgments and understanding reached between the two sides at a meeting in 1992.” State-owned media, Xinhua, released a statement on May 20, stating that Ms Tsai “had adopted a vague attitude and didn’t clearly acknowledge the ’92 consensus.”

The IFJ Asia Pacific Office said, “China continues to control the media in order to limit people’s right to freedom of speech and access to information. This prevents the regulation of the government, which is in the public interest. In prohibiting the publication of content at odds with the views of the government, the Chinese Government has effectively quashed the Chinese media’s capacity to report on the inauguration in a balanced and transparent manner.”

The IFJ urge the Premier Li Keqiang to investigate the Chinese Governments’ censorship of the media.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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