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Last Updated: Monday, 11 April, 2005, 00:18 GMT 01:18 UK
Taiwan bans Chinese journalists
Joseph Wu
Mr Wu said reports had conveyed a distorted image of Taiwan
Taiwanese officials have ordered journalists from two of mainland China's largest official media groups to stop working on the island.

They claim the reporters are contributing to straining relationships between Taipei and Beijing.

Xinhua news agency and the People's Daily newspaper have ignored Taiwan's objection to an anti-secession law passed by China last month, they say.

The law authorizes the use of force if Taiwan tries to gain independence.

Reporters from the two official Chinese media organisations had been based in Taiwan since 2001.

'Temporary measure'

"What we see is that reporters from Xinhua news agency and People's Daily have made little contributions to the understanding of the two sides," said Joseph Wu, chairman of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council.

"Through its state-controlled media, Chinese authorities have tried to present their people with a distorted image of Taiwan while levying a news blackout on Taiwan," he added.

: Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian (centre) takes part in a rally against China's anti-secession law
Taiwanese have held massive rallies against the anti-secession law
The council said biased and inaccurate reports by the agency and paper had "furthered misunderstandings" between the two sides.

But Taiwan's main opposition parties, the Kuomintang and People First Party, said the ban would be damaging to cross-straits relations.

The media, too, slammed the decision saying it would be "laughed by the international community".

But the council said the measure was only temporary and would be enforced while the "cross-strait media management policy" was being reviewed.

Taiwanese people have held angry protests since China passed the anti-secession law on 14 March, and the Taiwan government has adopted a range of retaliatory measures related to commercial exchanges between the two countries.

Three more Chinese state media organisations, which have reporters stationed in Taiwan on a monthly rotation basis, have not been affected by the ban.




SEE ALSO:
China warns Taiwan on march
25 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Pressure to keep China arms ban
25 Mar 05 |  UK Election 2005
Q&A: China arms embargo row
08 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Text of China's anti-secession law
14 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific


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