The Freedom Forum Institute and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office will host a discussion outlining Taiwan’s achievements in promoting and defending press freedom and free speech within a democratic society over the past several decades.
At a time when Beijing’s leader has tightened control on freedom of expression and is poised to stay in power indefinitely, Taiwan’s democratic accomplishments serve as a unique role model for the Asia-Pacific region and the world.
The following experts, scholars and journalists will come together to discuss the current situation in Taiwan and compare it with China, other nations in the region and worldwide:
Joining this discussion will also be a representative from Reporters Without Borders, or Reporters Sans Frontières, an international non-profit, non-governmental organization that conducts political advocacy on issues relating to freedom of information and freedom of the press.
Gene Policinski is president and chief operating officer of the Freedom Forum Institute, which includes the Religious Freedom Center, the First Amendment Center and NewseumED. He oversees all programs of the Freedom Forum Institute and also is a longtime proponent of diversity in journalism as an essential element of a free press. As one of the founding editors of USA TODAY and a veteran multimedia journalist, he also writes, lectures and is interviewed regularly on First Amendment issues. In 1996, he joined the Freedom Forum, the foundation that is the principal funder of the Newseum and Freedom Forum Institute. He hosts or co-hosts a variety of online audio and video programs produced by the Freedom Forum Institute, including “The First Five” podcast, and is co-author of the nationally distributed commentary, “Inside the First Amendment.”
Antonio Chiang is a longtime journalist and veteran columnist of Taiwan. He was the publisher and chief editor of several journals including The Eighties, The Journalist, Capital Morning Post and Taiwan Daily. He was also publisher of the English-language newspaper, Taipei Times, and has received numerous press awards. Chiang has spent more than 40 years in the press. He was an observer and participant in Taiwan’s democratic movement while martial law was imposed and has participated in many international forums and seminars concerning press freedom since the 1980s. From 2000 to 2004, he served as a member of the National Security Council. Now vice president of Taiwan’s General Association of Chinese Culture, he promotes Taiwan-China and international cultural exchanges.
Bill Gertz is senior editor of The Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Beacon, he was a national security reporter, editor and columnist for 27 years at The Washington Times. Gertz is the author of seven books, four of which were national bestsellers. His most recent book was “iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age,” a look at information warfare in its many forms and the enemies waging it. Gertz has an international reputation. Vyachaslav Trubnikov, head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, once called him a “tool of the CIA” after he wrote an article exposing Russian intelligence operations in the Balkans. A senior CIA official once threatened to have a cruise missile fired at his desk after he wrote a column critical of the CIA’s analysis of China. And China’s communist government has criticized him for news reports exposing China’s weapons and missile sales to rogue states. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency in 2006 identified Gertz as the No. 1 “anti-China expert” in the world. Gertz insists he is very much pro-China — pro-Chinese people and opposed to the communist system.
Shannon Tiezzi is editor-in-chief at The Diplomat,an online magazine. She writes on China’s foreign relations, domestic politics and economy. She previously served as a research associate at the U.S.-China Policy Foundation, where she hosted the weekly television show China Forum. She received her M.A. from Harvard University and her B.A. from The College of William and Mary, and studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing.