Letter to U.S. Congress from TV and Radio Audiences in Sichuan
Letter to U.S. Congress from TV and Radio Audiences in Sichuan

China may no longer receive satellite-transmitted news from several independent television and radio stations. (Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images)
China may no longer receive satellite-transmitted news from several independent television and radio stations. (Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images)

Honorable House Speaker Mrs. Nancy Pelosi,
Honorable Senate Majority Leader Mr. Harry Reid,
Honorable Secretary of State Mrs. Condoleezza Rice,
Executive Director of Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Mr. Jeff Trimble,

Hello!

For many years, we have been the loyal audience of Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Asia (RFA). Even though sometimes the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) interrupts their signals and we can only hear a few words, we always patiently adjust our antenna and frequency to keep trying. Sometimes, we will be excited for several days after hearing a piece of news that is otherwise blocked by the CCP.

Recently, Falun Gong practitioners took great risk to start helping people install the satellite dish to receive signals from Eutelsat’s W5 satellite. The audience of VOA, RFA and New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) has increased greatly. The satellite dish for W5 is small (only 18 inches). It’s easy to hide and relatively cheap (around $25), so W5 dish is spread very fast. In the past year, from villages to big cities, W5 dish is everywhere in China. People put the dish on their balcony, window or roof, then cover it with plastic bag or cloth, so it can’t be easily seen. Though this seems a little sneaky, people are really happy. They are happy because they can break the CCP’s information blockage. They are happy because they can receive clear uninterrupted signals. And they are greatly encouraged by the news they receive.
    
To better and faster spread the W5 satellite dish and NTDTV’s program, many people, including old ladies in rural areas, have learned how to set up the dish, pointing to the right direction and adjust the parameters. Most people do the installation free, only charging the cost of the materials. But they are still under great risk, because the CCP is extremely afraid of Chinese people understanding the truth. The CCP forms “Dish Raider Teams” with people from the “610” Office (an office created to persecute Falun Gong practitioners), the police department, the Broadcasting and Television Bureau, the Industrial and Commercial Bureau, and others. They search for and take away the satellite dishes. But because the W5 dish is small, the CCP’s effort is not effective.

However, while the W5 satellite’s signals were widely spreading in China, Eutelsat shut down its signal to China to please the CCP. The Chinese people who just started to enjoy the free information all of the sudden went back to where they were. Many people find it hard to adjust to the closed life. They say, “It’s very hard for us not to watch NTDTV’s program. We feel our life is missing something. Now everyday, we are just waiting and waiting…”
 
Now, we heard that BBG is going to end its contract with Eutelsat, moving VOA and RFA out of W5. This will make many Chinese lose the free channel they just set up. The BBG’s decision is not wise. Not only will they lose many loyal audiences from China, but they also support the CCP’s dictatorship. This contradicts the objective of VOA and RFA.
 
We are grateful for the US Congress' support of NTDTV in the past. We hope the US Congress and more people can extend your help again this time.
    
We appeal to you,
BBG reverse the decision to take down VOA and RFA from Eutelsat, and
Urge Eutelsat to resume NTDTV’s signals to China now!

The Chinese people are dying to know the truth around the world!
The Chinese people are in great need to know the truth around the world!
An open and free China will not pose a threat to the world!

Sincerely yours,
The TV and Radio Audience from Sichuan Province, China

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