Hong Kong broadcaster bans 'Taiwan' references, falling in line with mainland China

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jul 21, 2021, 01:35 PM(IST)

Taiwan flag (file photo) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK has been banned from making any references to Taiwan that paint it as an independent territory

Hong Kong's public broadcaster recently banned all references to Taiwanese government, ordering staff to not refer to Taiwan's leader as "president" and to avoid using the word "government" in fresh guidelines.

The new directives are in line with mainland China's rhetoric towards Taiwan, which it sees as its own territory. The country has not shied away from claiming that it may bring Taiwan under its control using force if required.

Currently, China is in the process of remoulding the official functioning of Hong Kong, hoping to sync it with the Communist Party of China's goals. Although still a semi-autonomous city, a lot of democratic freedoms guaranteed in Hong Kong have been curtailed under the security laws that were enforced after violent protests against Chinese influence on the city.

Now, RTHK - a news channel run by the government is falling in line with China's national media which is heavily censored.

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The memo sent to RTHK staffers was accessed by AFP on Tuesday, which mentioned a series of new directives for everyone working at RTHK, especially in regards to Taiwan.

Taiwan is officially known as the Republic of China and is home to 23 million people. As opposed to China, Taiwan is a self-ruled democracy.

The memo in question referred to certain terms as "inappropriate" including "Taiwan's president" and "Taiwan government" in all output related to radio and television broadcasts, along with digital content.

"Inappropriate terminology such as 'country', 'Republic of China', 'ROC'... must not be used when referring to Taiwan. Under no circumstances should Taiwan be referred to as a sovereign state or perceived as one," AFP quoted the memo as saying.

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Recently, a pro-China leader from Hong Kong accused RTHK of not following the law while describing Taiwan.

In China's state media channels, it's not uncommon to disregard Taiwan. Most news platforms refer to Taiwan as "China's Taiwan region" while President Tsai Ing-wen is usually labelled as a "so-called leader".

(With inputs from agencies)

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