12 Feb 2007

Solomons Media Association defends Taiwanese involvement in 2007 PINA conference

3:44 pm on 12 February 2007

The Media Association of Solomon Islands, or MASI, has dismissed China's concern about Taiwan's involvement in this year's Pacific Islands News Association's conference.

China has protested against Taiwanese involvement in this May's conference in Honiara, saying PINA should not be politicised by Taipei.

China is concerned that MASI has accepted 65,000 US dollars from Taipei for the conference, and is allowing a Taiwanese delegation to attend the conference.

But the official heading the MASI secretariat organising the conference, Alfred Sasako, says both China and Taiwan have provided funding for PINA-related activities in the past.

And he says the growing attendance of Taiwan and other non-Pacific countries is a welcome development for PINA.

"I think the over-arching interest for media people in the region is to promote media freedom, freedom of speech and - I"

venture to say - freedom of association. So I think we'd rather deal with the media aspect of it than the politics of it.

Alfred Sasako.