Mainland China’s film and television industry exhibitors collectively withdrew from the 2013 Taipei TV Festival on Sept. 25. The withdrawal was reportedly on orders from Chinese officials who found the presence of an independent TV broadcaster in the same exhibit hall too close for comfort.
The Taipei TV Festival hosted by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture was established a decade ago, and New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV), the independent TV station at the center of the controversy, has participated in previous years without any problems.
However, this year, for the first time, the Festival was being held on the open floor of the Taipei World Trade Center’s Exhibition Hall 3 instead of in several separate private rooms at the Grand Hotel. And this would have made it impossible for the mainland participants to avoid coming in contact with NTDTV.
NTDTV has been on the communist regime’s black list for a long time for being very active in exposing the regime’s human rights abuses, including the persecution of Falun Gong, in it’s programs that are broadcast into the mainland via satellite. Thus, according to sources, the regime’s Taiwan Affairs Office and its State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television prohibited all mainland Chinese media from participating in the Festival this year.
Taiwan’s Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai expressed disappointment over the mainland media’s withdrawal, saying: “We always say that both sides of the strait have to be beyond politics. So, it’s important to understand each other more deeply and communicate better. By abandoning such an important communication platform and channel, don’t you think that’s a big loss over a mere trifle?” Lung said she hopes to see China’s TV exhibitors at next year’s Taipei TV Festival.
NTDTV spokesperson Zhu Wanqi told Epoch Times: “We welcome all Chinese people to come to our booth. Taiwan is a country with free speech and press. We have no opinion about whether or not Chinese media come to exhibit; we neither encourage nor discourage them.”
The Taipei TV Festival is an international event with open enrollment to all legal companies. Although mainland China’s exhibitors did not participate, there were still more than 100 mainland visitors at the Festival.
Translation by Joseph Ding. Written in English by Arleen Richards and Gisela Sommer.