Monday, September 14, 2015

Demands to ban anti-communist films on Chinese tour buses rejected

Demands to ban anti-communist films on Chinese tour buses rejected

2015/09/14 15:02:59

CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 14 (CNA) Taiwan's Tourism Bureau turned down a demand Monday from a Chinese travel agency to ban videos with anti-communist content on tour buses transporting Chinese tourists visiting the island.

Any videos can be shown on tour buses as long as they have legal copyright and their content does not violate "good morals," the bureau said. It does not matter if the videos involve anti-communist content or not, it added.

The issue came to the fore after a Chinese tour group visiting Taiwan in August was shown a British-produced documentary video about the late Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong while on a tour bus.

It is customary in Taiwan for tour bus drivers to show movies or other films to tourists during the journey.

According to an investigation by the Tourism Bureau, only one elderly member of the group was dissatisfied with the video, complaining that the image of Mao shown in the video was different from what he perceived it to be.

The Taiwanese tour guide then consulted the opinions of other tourists and was told that they wanted to continue watching the video.

After receiving the tourist's complaint, the Chinese travel agency organizing the tour demanded that the responsible Taiwanese travel agency stop showing anti-communist documentaries on tour buses containing Chinese tourists. It also demanded that Taiwanese tour guides should refrain from expressing standpoints different from the Chinese communists.

The Tourism Bureau said it will ask China's tourism authorities to look into the incident and respect the pluralism and freedom of speech in Taiwan.

Taiwan is a free and democratic society, and as long as the rights of others are not infringed upon, Chinese tourists should not only abide by Taiwan's laws but should also respect different opinions and ideologies, the bureau said.

According to Tourism Bureau statistics, nearly 4 million Chinese nationals visited Taiwan last year, by far the largest group among the country's 9 million inbound visitors in 2014.

(By Wang Shu-fen and Y.F. Low)

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