Taiwan mulls censoring books by Chinese Communist Party, PLA

The Ministry of Culture (MOC) may propose an amendment that would regulate publications released by the Chinese Communist Party and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) before they can enter the Taiwan market.

The proposed revision pertains to Article 37 of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

At present the law stipulates that any publication, video, or radio or television program from mainland China can be imported into Taiwan to be sold and distributed with the permission of the government.

The law, however, has not been strongly enforced, and the Ministry of Culture wants to revise the law to emphasize enforcement, focusing particularly on regulating Chinese Communist Party and Chinese PLA publications.

Speaking to reporters before a legislative hearing in Taipei, Culture Minister Lee Yung-te (李永得) said publications by the Chinese Communist Party are “propaganda materials” rather than “books.”

Such publications need to be reviewed and approved before they can be imported into Taiwan’s market, said Lee, who disagreed with critics who argue that such a move would go against freedom of thought.

Taiwan’s democracy needs to be fortified, especially at a time when it faces constant threats from an unfriendly neighbor, Lee said.

He indicated, however, that publications by private individuals or associations in China will not be subject to censorship or subject to provisions in the proposed amendment.

Lee said his ministry will consult with members of Taiwan’s publishing associations and industry players to discuss on a revision to the law as early as possible. (CNA) 

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