CCTV can only air in Taiwan on reciprocal basis, says culture minister

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 April, 2013, 12:38pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 April, 2013, 1:09pm

Mainland television will be allowed to air in Taiwan only if China grants landing rights to Taiwanese television in the mainland, Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai said on Monday.

Lung said the issue should be addressed in context of Taiwan’s television industry development and stressed the importance of reciprocity, Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) reported.

“If the mainland grants our television channels landing rights, then yes, we have basis for discussion but if the other side does not allow us landing rights, then unfortunately, we have no basis for discussion,” Lung said on the sidelines of a Legislative Yuan committee hearing on Monday.

The minister’s comments came just a day after former Straits Exchange Foundation chairman and current Kuomintang vice-chairman Chiang Pin-kung suggested Taiwan offer TV viewers “more choice” by bringing in Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV and the mainland’s state-run China Central Television (CCTV) satellite channels.

Offering more international news to Taiwanese audiences would help divert local attention away from local "gossip news" and expose them to more worldy affairs, he said.

Chiang’s suggestions drew widespread ire with critics expressing concern over the mainland’s penchant for state-sanctioned programmes and censorship - content that would otherwise not suit Taiwanese audiences accustomed to a more democratic and open society, CNA reported.

Lung, a former Hong Kong resident, played down the concerns. She said Taiwanese people were well-educated and would be open-minded when watching mainland TV programmes.