NTDTV Calls On Eutelsat Not to Yield to CCP's Pressure

By Li Xin, Epoch Times
July 1, 2008 Updated: July 1, 2008

New Tang Dynasty Television's (NTDTV)satellite broadcast signal in Asia was abruptly terminated on June 16 by Eutelsat (a French-based satellite provider) with the excuse that the electrical supply was out of order. NTDTV spokesperson Carrie Hung said Eutelsat had not provided any formal explanation for the termination.

Hung said, “NTDTV has tried very hard to communicate with Eutelsat. Hong commented that the CCP was unable to carry out its commitment to improve human rights before the Olympics, and on the contrary, it intensified its restraint on freedom of the press and free speech.

Hung said that recently, while the blood of Tibetans was still fresh, the CCP created events in Flushing, New York, to shift attention from its domestic crises.

She continued, saying that by colluding with such an authoritarian regime, Eutelsat was acting against its own interest. The termination of the popular NTDTV mainland China broadcast was immoral, and in violation of the contract agreement.

She appealed to Eutelsat not to yield to the CCP's bait of economic benefits but to restore NTDTV's broadcasting in Asia immediately.

NTDTV says it is the only unfiltered independent Chinese satellite television program that can be watched by mainland people. “Since June 17, NTDTV has received numerous emails and telephone calls complaining that they were unable to watch NTDTV programs,” said Hong.

Mainland human rights activist Kong Qiang from Shandong, told NTDTV that his rights watch web site in China has been closed down by the regime nearly one hundred times. His articles and views have been published on overseas media. Kong expressed his wish for the continued broadcast by NTDTV to expose the truth to mainland people.

“Only your kind of media can publish our appeals, our opinions, and our suggestions,” Kong said in a NTDTV interview.

Mr. Li from Sichuan province, mainland China said, “Television or radio in China, everything is reported in the CCP's way, which is directed by the Central Propaganda Department, no other way is permitted.”

Hung indicated that many mainlanders value NTDTV programs. After the termination of the Asia signal, NTDTV has continuously tried to restore the signal through various means. The reaction from Eutelsat has been indifferent.

Why Hasn't Eutelsat Restored NTDTV Satellite Broadcast?

Hung indicated that Eutelsat “can use the standby satellite transponder to immediately restore the transmission.”

She said that according to experts from the satellite broadcasting industry, the termination was caused by the CCP's long term pressure on Eutelsat and the chairman Giuliano Berretta's wishes to please the CCP in order to do business.

On June 16, 2008, the largest stockholder in Eutelsat's Satellite W5 manufacturer, Alcatel, signed a US$1 billion contract with the Chinese regime. A few hours later, NTDTV's broadcast signal in Asia was suddenly terminated.

This is not the first time that Eutelsat has been pressured to discontinue its contract with NTDTV. In 2005, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Eutelsat had attempted to use the termination of NTDTV's broadcast in Asia in exchange for Beijing's enormous economic benefits.

Because of many appeals from individuals and strong condemnation from the United States, members of the European Union, and international media, Eutelsat resumed the contract with NTDTV and committed to NTDTV's continued broadcast in Asia.

This time, according to the International Federation of Journalists, the CCP used the termination of NTDTV programs, as a condition for Eutelsat to broadcast during the Olympic period.

Call on Eutelsat to Honor Contract

Hung pointed out that Eutelsat must follow the international and European-related agreements and its own company charters. These agreements and charters require the company not to discriminate, to observe equal opportunity principles, and to respect the principle of diversification of media.

Morally and legally, Eutelsat has a clear obligation to restore NTDTV's signals in Asia immediately.

NTDTV appealed for the support of all people to urge Eutelsat to immediately restore NTDTV's signal in Asia.

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