No re­ports of Tai­wanese deaths in main­land tragedy

Tai­wan of­fers help, calls for re­spect of Tai­wanese re­porters

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

One Tai­wanese fac­tory man­ager was in­jured in Wed­nes­day night’s mas­sive blasts that struck main­land China’s north­ern port city of Tian­jin, and nu­mer­ous fac­to­ries were dam­aged, main­land China’s Tai­wan Af­fairs Of­fice ( TAO) con­firmed yesterday.

Tai­wan’s Cab­i­net-level Main­land Af­fairs Coun­cil (MAC) said it was “pay­ing close at­ten­tion” to the de­vel­op­ments, ex­press­ing sym­pa­thy to the vic­tims and of­fer­ing to pro­vide as­sis­tance if needed.

TAO spokes­woman Fan Liqing ( ) stated that a Tai­wanese fac­tory man­ager, sur­named Wu, suf­fered mi­nor in­juries. A Cheng Loong Corp. ( ) spokesper­son said that the in­jured man­ager has since tele­phoned to re­port that he is out of dan­ger and that his in­juries were due to mi­nor skin lac­er­a­tions from bro­ken glass due to the ex­plo­sions.

Fan added that ap­prox­i­mately 20 Tai­wanese- in­vested fac­to­ries suf­fered dam­age, in­clud­ing a col­lapsed work­ers’ dor­mi­tory of Daer­tai Corp. ( ) and dam­aged fac­tory sup­ply lines of Tingyi Hold­ing Corp. (

) . Other dam­age re­ported to Tai­wanese- op­er­ated prop­er­ties in­cluded bro­ken glass.

Mul­ti­ple blasts late Wed­nes­day night were linked to a ware­house stor­ing volatile ma­te­ri­als, pro­duc­ing tremors that reg­is­tered on earth­quake sen­sors, flat­ten­ing prop­erty, torch­ing cars and leav­ing scores dead and in­jured. As of press time, of­fi­cial Chi­nese re­ports put the cur­rent num­ber of dead at 50 with over 500 in­jured.

Mean­while, Tai­wanese as well as in­ter­na­tional media rep- re­sen­ta­tives were sur­rounded by a group of po­lice­men.

Public Se­cu­rity Ag­gres­sive To­ward Tai­wanese Re­porter

A Tai­wanese jour­nal­ist tak­ing pho­to­graphs in the fall­out area in Tian­jin was re­port­edly sur­rounded by public se­cu­rity per­son­nel who pro­ceeded to re­move and con­fis­cate the data stor­age card from his dig­i­tal cam­era.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­porter, the men were about to take him into cus­tody but stopped when he pre­sented his Tai­wanese com­pa­tri­ots per­mit ( ).

De­mand­ing to have his data card re­turned, se­cu­rity per­son­nel ap­par­ently told him to “beg on his knees.”

In re­sponse to in­quiries from the Tai­wanese media, TAO spokesman Ma Xiaoguang said that it is likely the po­lice­man who took away the mem­ory card was un­der a great deal of pres­sure at the time, and he does not rep­re­sent all po­lice­men and Chi­nese author­i­ties.

The TAO spokes­woman Fan said that its of­fices were work­ing with Tai­wanese rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the city to re­solve the mat­ter, while urg­ing that Tai­wanese media “should avoid dras­tic moves.”

She later said that the of­fi­cer who con­fis­cated the data stor­age card may have been “un­der ex­treme pres­sure” due to the ex­plo­sion, and that his ac­tions were not rep­re­sen­ta­tive of all of main­land China’s po­lice or gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

MAC Deputy Min­is­ter Wu Mei- hung ( ) urged China to re­spect jour­nal­is­tic free­dom and en­sure the per­sonal safety of Tai­wanese re­porters op­er­at­ing in the area.

Both the MAC and the Straits Ex­change Foun­da­tion ( SEF) have ex­pressed con­cern and of­fered help to Chi­nese au­thori- ties in the wake of the se­ries of deadly ex­plo­sions.

MAC and SEF Of­fer As­sis­tance, DPP Ex­tends

Con­do­lences

Deputy Min­is­ter Wu said the Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs has also con­tacted the Tai­wanese busi­ness­peo­ple’s as­so­ci­a­tion in Tian­jin to learn more about the sit­u­a­tion there.

She added that the Chi­nese side had re­ceived the MAC’s state­ments of sym­pa­thy but they have not in­di­cated any re­quests for as­sis­tance in the dis­as­ter area.

Tai­wan’s op­po­si­tion Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party ( DPP) on Thurs­day also ex­tended con­do­lences to the fam­i­lies of those killed in the ex­plo­sion.

The DPP, mean­while, ex­pects that the Tai­wan gov­ern­ment will be fully in­formed about the safety of Tai­wanese busi­ness­peo­ple in China, said the party’s spokesman Wang Min- sheng,

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