RTHK in hot water again over references to Taiwan - RTHK
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RTHK in hot water again over references to Taiwan

2021-03-29 HKT 16:55
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  • RTHK was accused of 'portraying Taiwan as a country', inciting hatred against the People’s Republic of China, and 'insulting national sovereignty'. Image: Shutterstock
    RTHK was accused of 'portraying Taiwan as a country', inciting hatred against the People’s Republic of China, and 'insulting national sovereignty'. Image: Shutterstock
Wendy Wong reports
The Communications Authority upheld another complaint about RTHK on Monday, admonishing the station for comments in a show suggesting that Taiwan is able to establish its own diplomatic relations.

Two people complained about an episode of "Taiwan Stories 3" which was broadcast on March 28 last year.

The public broadcaster was accused of "portraying Taiwan as a country", inciting hatred against the People’s Republic of China, and "insulting national sovereignty".

The 30-minute documentary looked at the life of students from Burkina Faso in Taiwan and community projects in Malawi.

At issue was the narrator and interviewees using terms such as "diplomatic relations between the two countries," and "break off diplomatic relations", when describing Taiwan's relationship with the two African nations.

The authority said that by suggesting Taiwan was a sovereign state capable of establishing formal diplomatic relations, RTHK had clearly breached the TV Programme Code which requires the factual contents of documentary programmes to be accurate.

It noted that RTHK had earlier admitted that the term "diplomatic relations between the two countries" was inappropriate.

But the authority said it had found no evidence that the broadcaster had incited hatred against the People's Republic.

"Having taken into account the specific facts, the circumstances of the case and other relevant factors, the CA decided that RTHK should be advised to observe more closely the relevant provision of the TV Programme Code," it said in a statement.

RTHK has received a series of warnings from the authority since the social unrest of 2019 when pro-Beijing figures accused the broadcaster of siding with the protesters.

In April last year, the government also said RTHK had breached Beijing's One China policy after a reporter asked the World Health Organisation whether Taiwan should be accepted as a member.