Reporters Without Borders opens first Asian office in Taipei

International press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders has opened its first Asian office in Taipei.

At a press conference held Tuesday to mark the office's opening, Reporters Without Borders secretary general Christophe Deloire explained why the organization chose to open an office in Taipei. He said Taiwan has a geographically central location and also leads the organization's Asian press freedom rankings.

Deloire also condemned Beijing's treatment of Chinese dissident and Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died Thursday at the age of 61. Liu had been serving an 11-year prison sentence for calling for an end to one-party rule in China. He had been granted medical parole after being diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer. Deloire said Liu's death constituted murder, as he had not been given appropriate medical attention.

Meanwhile, Cabinet spokesperson Hsu Kuo-yung welcomed the arrival in Taiwan of another Nobel peace prize winner, Shirin Ebadi, who is a member of Reporters Without Borders' emeritus board. Hsu said President Tsai Ing-wen had met with Ebadi and other members of a Reporters Without Borders delegation on Monday. Hsu said the president expressed Taiwan's determination to defend free speech and wished the new office success.

Source: Radio Taiwan International