A reporter for a Chinese state-owned media group who deceptively answered “Taiwan” when US President Donald Trump asked him where he was from during a White House press briefing last week, will be investigated by the relevant authorities, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said today.
Last Wednesday, April 8, Chang Ching-yi was attending a regular White House press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic when the President asked him where he was from. While the Taiwan born and educated Chang did not exactly lie when he answered “Taiwan,” his answer was considered a disingenuous attempt to evade the fact that he actually worked for a propaganda arm of the Chinese Communist Party – Shanghai Media Group.
Chang’s answer that he was from Taiwan, seemed to reassure the President, who replied, “Good,” before taking a couple of non-controversial questions from the reporter.
Chang was the second reporter working for outlets aligned with the CCP to attempt to evade questions of who they were really working for last week. Two days previously Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV reporter Wang You-you was asked by the President, “Are you working for China?” after Wang spouted a lengthy preface to a question that sounded as if it could have been written by the CCP politburo itself.
Wang denied working for China and said “I’m working for Hong Kong Phoenix TV.”
“Who owns that, China?” Trump inquired.
Wang: “err, it’s based in Hong Kong.”
Trump: “Is it owned by China … is it owned by the state?”
Wang: “No, it’s not. It’s a private-owned company.”
Phoenix TV is owned by a former PLA military officer with “close ties to Beijing Officials,” according to Freedom House, who also notes that China Central Television holds a 10 percent stake the well-known pro-CCP mouthpiece.
It’s also worth noting that Chang Ching-yi also worked for Phoenix TV until switching to Shanghai Media Group’s Dragon TV in 2014.
As for Taiwan citizen Chang, the MAC responded to questions at a press conference today, saying that Chang is suspected of breaching laws pertaining to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, which precludes Taiwanese citizens or organizations from “Any cooperative activity involving political nature with any individual, juristic person, organization, or other institution of the Mainland Area,” under Article 33, paragraph 2.
“The media organization Chang serves are institutions directly under party affairs and government affairs of the mainland,” the MAC spokesperson said.
“The MAC will Investigate and punish [Chang] according to law as soon as possible in conjunction with relevant competent authorities.”
Violations of Article 33 can be met with a fine of between NT$100,000 and NT$500,000.
Cover Picture: NTD News Youtube channel.
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