Mainland offers hand to Taiwan journalists

(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-12-28 07:03

Reporters from Taiwan covering the Olympic Games will be included in the greater freedom permitted during the run-up as well as the main event in 2008, a mainland spokesman said yesterday.

In line with a regulation already issued last month regarding foreign journalists, Taiwanese journalists will need only the consent of the unit or the individual they plan to interview on the mainland, Li Weiyi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, told a regular press conference.

They will also be allowed to hire local mainlanders to assist them in their reporting, Li said.

The new regulation suspends rules requiring reporters to obtain government approval for all travel and interviews.

The regulation will be in force from Monday to October 17, 2008.

Li also urged Taiwanese authorities to lift a ban on journalists from two leading mainland news organizations, People's Daily and Xinhua News Agency.

In April 2005, Taiwanese authorities forbade the two organizations from stationing reporters on the island, saying the journalists reported opinions conflicting with those held by the Democratic Progressive Party and Taiwanese authorities.

Li said it was a "setback in the cross-Straits media exchange" and "lagging far behind the times."

"It directly impaired the work of the two news organizations, harmed the interests of their customers and damaged cross-Straits media exchanges," he said.

The mainland allowed Taiwanese media organizations to station reporters on the mainland in 1993. By April 2005, 12 media organizations had stationed reporters in mainland cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu.

In response to a question about cross-Straits relations, Li lambasted Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian for his "stubborn adherence'" to "independence" for the island since he was elected six years ago.

Li said that Chen had repeatedly provoked confrontation, which hampers the development of cross-Straits relations.

"It is the common aspiration of people from both sides to intensify their exchanges and co-operation and realize common prosperity," he said.

(China Daily 12/28/2006 page2)

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours