DW opened its Taipei office as foreign media outlets expanding their presence in Taiwan

Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA)-Germany’s public international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) opened an office in Taipei last month — its first office in East Asia — because of the high level of press freedom in Taiwan, according to DW Chinese Service chief Philipp Bilsky.

The Taipei office became fully operational Oct. 15 with four full-time staff members, three of whom are from Taiwan and one from Hong Kong, Bilsky told CNA via e-mail. It is the first time DW’s Chinese Service has had a field office employing exclusively local staff, he added.

“The most important reason for opening the office in Taipei is to bridge the time gap between Germany and our main target region, China,” said Bilsky, noting that DW can now react much more quickly to events in the region.

He pointed out that the main focus of the Taipei office is not on Taiwan. “Rather, we report from Taipei about the whole world for our Chinese service and also provide news to DW’s English news channel.”

Asked why DW selected Taiwan as the location for its regional office, Bilsky attributed it to the working conditions here and praised Taiwan’s very high ranking in the press freedom index in Asia for many years.

Another important factor was the very good infrastructure, such as fast Internet, he said.

In addition to Taipei, he went on, DW has been trying for a long time to open an office in the Beijing.

“However, this has been denied by the Chinese authorities so far,” Bilsky said, adding that “DW’s content is blocked by censorship in China.”

Taiwan was ranked the top Asian nation for the sixth consecutive year in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released April 25 by France-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Taiwan is the top Asian nation for the sixth consecutive year in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. (Courtesy of RSF)