TAIWAN: TV station says China is foiling its Taiwan plans

An international Chinese-language television station that had been founded by North American Chinese said yesterday that it was facing pressure from the Chinese government about the possibility of broadcasting in Taiwan via satellite

Taipei Times
Saturday, December 27, 2003

By Cody Yiu
 
An international Chinese-language television station that had been founded by North American Chinese said yesterday that it was facing pressure from the Chinese government about the possibility of broadcasting in Taiwan via satellite.

"As New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) dares to reveal dirty truths behind many issues related to China, our cooperation with international satellite companies has been constantly disrupted or terminated by the Chinese government. As a result our satellite system which was to provide live broadcasts to Taiwan has been locked," said Yingchuang Liu, professor of Economics at National Taiwan University as well as the Taiwanese representative of NTDTV.

According to Liu, those who want to view NTDTV's programs currently have to use a decoder.

"Right now, we are looking at working with another satellite company that is not afraid of the Chinese government so that we will finally be able to broadcast our programs freely to the people in Taiwan," Liu said.

NTDTV, a non-profit organization, was founded in New York in February last year to provide international news and a variety of television programs to various Chinese communities in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

According to Liu, NTDTV's news coverage on topics such as Falun Gong and SARS has been objective. "We take pride in our international news," Liu said.

In November NTDTV's documentary on China's crackdown on Falun Gong practitioners at Tiananmen Square won an honorary award at Columbus International Movie Festival.

"We want to become the CNN in the Chinese world, and news is our top priority. Our ideology is to emphasize human rights, democracy and freedom; furthermore, our stance is unbiased and is not swayed by any government," Liu said.

"Although we want to broadcast live programs free of charge to Taiwanese audiences, we are facing challenges," he said.

Liu said that due to the difficulties presented by getting access to satellite broadcasts to Taiwan, residents will have to be content with watching the station's Internet broadcasts.

NTDTV has been providing free satellite service and around-the-clock programs to worldwide Chinese communities for almost two years and has now set its sights on Taiwan.

"As Taiwan's democracy and freedom of speech goes along well with the ideology of NTDTV, Taiwan becomes an ideal place to work with," Liu said.

NTDTV has also received support from Huang Hui-chen, director-general of the Government Information Office.

At present NTDTV provides programs in Mandarin and Cantonese. In addition to news, it offers 11 types of television programs, including business and finance, health and children's shows.