Taiwanese Director Doze Niu Indicted For Sneaking Chinese Cinematographer Into Military Base

The "Monga" helmer was scouting locations for his latest movie, "Military Paradise."

Taiwanese director Doze Niu has been indicted by a local court for using false papers to take a cinematographer from China to a Taiwanese naval base to scout for film locations, local media reported.

The offense is punishable by a maximum five-year jail term.

Both Niu, best known for the Taiwanese hits Monga and Love, and the cinematographer Cao Yu were charged with violating a law that bans Chinese nationals from entering Taiwanese military facilities.

The pair were working on Niu's latest project, Military Paradise, featuring Taiwanese actor Ethan Juan, which tells the story of a group of Taiwanese soldiers stationed on the offshore island of Kinmen or Quemoy in 1958.

Between 1954 and 1978, there was constant bombardment of the Kinmen archipelago by mainlanders, who rained down two million shells on the island, 480,000 of them in the first two days of the bombing.

Niu apologized after the case surfaced and vowed to reflect on what happened.

The director had lobbied for Cao to be allowed into the base, but the military refused.

The mainland Chinese cinematographer got into the base in June last year by getting on a bus with the rest of Niu's crew members, who were on the approved list of visitors, and also boarded a naval ship, according to prosecutors.

The Taiwanese military had agreed to help the project but have now withdrawn that support.

Cao has twice won the cinematography award at Taiwan's Golden Horse Film Awards, regarded as the Chinese-language Oscars.

Taiwan has been self-ruled since 1949 when the Kuomintang (KMT) party fled to the island after defeat in a civil war with Communist forces, but mainland China still considers Taiwan part of its territory and has thousands of missiles pointed across the water at the island.

Tensions across the Strait of Taiwan have eased since the 2008 election of President Ma Ying-jeou, who favors easier relations with Beijing to boost trade, but there is still little love lost between the communist People's Republic of China and Taiwan.