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Chinese Censorship Gets Blasted By NTD TV

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the good-news-from-on-high dept.

China 32

jjp9999 writes "Despite years of pressure from the Chinese regime, independent television station NTD TV will resume its broadcast throughout China with a Taiwanese satellite. Chinese residents throughout the mainland can receive the broadcast using satellite dishes (which are illegal) and get a glimpse of the world beyond the Great Firewall. Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) satellite provider fought the ruling tooth and nail, yet folded under pressure from the Taiwanese premier, the vice president of European Parliament, human rights groups, and other international bodies. A similar case took place when French satellite company Eutelsat cut NTD TV's broadcast into China just short of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Although they said the outage was due to technical problems, an investigation by Reporters Without Borders caught Eutelsat employees red handed, recording admissions they cut the service due to pressure from the Chinese communist regime."

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32 comments

Falun gong (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632420)

The Chinese Communist Party and the Falun Gong movement aren't exactly best buddies.

So I'm not quite sure why this is news, even if I'm broadly in favour of anything that riles up loathsome communist dictators.

Other Sources (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36633380)

It's an interesting article, and I find the subject of censorhip in China to be interesting in general, but can't you find a source a little more objective than the Epoch Times? You're quoting a story about a television show produced by the Falun Gong, and your source is a newspaper owned by the Falun Gong.

Here are some other sources:
http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2011/06/21/307009/Chunghwa-Telecom.htm
http://en.rsf.org/taiwan-taiwanese-tv-satellite-operator-24-05-2011,40343.html

Re:Other Sources (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36637630)

It's an interesting article, and I find the subject of censorhip in China to be interesting in general, but can't you find a source a little more objective than the Epoch Times? You're quoting a story about a television show produced by the Falun Gong, and your source is a newspaper owned by the Falun Gong.

Here are some other sources:
http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2011/06/21/307009/Chunghwa-Telecom.htm [chinapost.com.tw]
http://en.rsf.org/taiwan-taiwanese-tv-satellite-operator-24-05-2011,40343.html [rsf.org]

From the Wikipedia article Epoch Times [wikipedia.org] , it's hard to tell whether Epoch Times is owned by the Falun Gong or not. (Although I've read it, and I'd say that if it's not owned by the Falun Gong, it's certainly owned by people extremely sympathetic to them).

Re:Falun gong (2)

readin (838620) | more than 2 years ago | (#36636812)

The news is that Taiwan based Chungwa Telecom finally relented and let the broadcasts continue. Like corporations all over the world, Chungwa Telecom may have been either bowing to pressure or just trying to kiss up to China in order to maintain or improve access to Chinese markets.

There may have also been a more political reason. "Chungwa" means "Chinese" (more in the ethnic sense than in the sovereign state sense). When the Chinese took over Taiwan after WWII they set about trying to make the country Chinese. Nearly all the roads in major cities had their names changed from their original Taiwanese or Japanese names to Chinese names. Corporations and government agencies based in Tawian were named "China" this or "China" that. For example, the national post office of Taiwan is called "China Post". In the nineties a Taiwanese man finally got the reins of power and under his leadership the country became a democracy. Another Taiwanese man was elected to replace him when his 8 years were up. But like all two party systems the other guys (in this case the Chinese guys) eventually got back in (helped by the fact that they still controlled the bureaucracy). The second Taiwanese president has been sentenced to life in prison and they've just indicted the first one. Meanwhile the Chinese party in Taiwan has been extremely friendly to China.

There is an ongoing debate in Taiwan about whether to merge with China or remain independent. The "China" in "China Telecom" might suggest which side that corporation is on. As for the government, when this satellite issue became public, it gave them a chance to put a little distance between themselves and China (the majority of the country is Taiwanese and they don't want to merge) without irritating the Chinese too much and to look like they're supporting freedom.

Re:Falun gong (2)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 2 years ago | (#36637452)

Having spent some time in Taiwan I'd say it works like this

5% of the population want de jure independence as opposed to the current de facto sort. If Taiwan declared de jure independence the Chinese would invade.

5% of the population want to join China.

90% of the population want to keep the status quo for the time being.

But it's more complex than that - the people that want to join China actually want to join the Republic of China, not the People's Republic.

So really the overwhelming majority are waiting for a change in the PRC. Then you'd see a real debate about whether to join a federal democratic China or go their own way.

this battle is raging all around the world (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632426)

in chinatown flushing in new york i've seen communist loyalists and falun gong types get into physical fights on the street.

Re:this battle is raging all around the world (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632544)

If you're moving to NewYork, generally it's because of either family and/or opportunity above and beyond what's found in China. These immigrants come to the states with communist indoctrinated zeal. If anything, they're looking for change. It's also worth pointing out that true CCP members have little power and influence outside of the mainland unless a Chinese business is primarily based out of China.

Basically, if they're actual fistfights breaking out in NewYork between commies and gongs, I'd have to say this was a staged media setup. I don't buy it.

Re:this battle is raging all around the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36633206)

Don't be so sure of that. The CCP is working hard to spread their ideas around the world. More importantly, they have a number of agent provocateurs designed to make anti-communists look bad, while sending a signal to other Chinese that they must fall in line with the CCP or risk the arm.

Re:this battle is raging all around the world (1)

CapuchinSeven (2266542) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632680)

I'm seriously having trouble not picturing the "kung fu" street fight between rival gangs at the start of Big Trouble in Little China.

NTD TV is run by Falun Gong (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36632464)

NTD TV is far from being independent. It's run by the Falun Gong, and Falun Gong has long tried to overthrow the current Chinese regime. The Falun Gong leader (Li Hongzhi) is a total crackpot. Google his name and read a little about him. I cannot fathom why anyone would not think of this group as a cult.

Re:NTD TV is run by Falun Gong (4, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632504)

Thanks for the propaganda Mr. 50center AC. Yeah, NTDTV is tied to the Falun Gong. That doesn't mean that it isn't useful. I don't like the Catholic Church, or for that matter, any church, but that doesn't mean I think we should close all the church-run orphanages and soup kitchens and what-have-you. Just because an organization has silly beliefs doesn't mean everything it does is intrinsically worthless.

Re:NTD TV is run by Falun Gong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36634622)

I don't know if you have ever sat through a NTDTV news broadcast. If their reporting on China is 100% negative, then it's obviously not independent, unbiased news. And if you believe a news source like that is somehow useful, good on you.

Falun Gong is more Branch Davidian than Catholic Church, and for a group like this to be funded by the US government (where they get the money to run a TV station and newspaper) is truly amazing.

Re:NTD TV is run by Falun Gong (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36634826)

I have watched several NTDTV broadcasts, and their reporting on China is not 100%, quite the opposite, they are advocates of Chinese culture and values to the world. You could reasonably argue that their reporting on the CCP is 100% negative, and like a good 50center you want people to think that the CCP is China, which is a false conflation.

NTDTV is not unbiased, but who is? Xinhua? What a joke. Even Western news agencies like BBC or CNN are biased, just not as overtly, and they don't really understand China. NTDTV is not a perfect source, but I don't think it is a bad source vs. most others, and because it is mostly Chinese people producing/editing/reporting it tends to have more insight on Chinese issues than Western news agencies.

Furthermore, all religions are cults. I don't have any more or less respect for Branch Davidians than Catholics, and just the same if Falun Gong is sillier than Buddhism or what-have-you, I don't care. All religion is stupid, and having a competition to see who is stupider is not useful. If a stupid organization can do something good, that thing can stand by itself.

Re:NTD TV is run by Falun Gong (3)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632630)

How is that any different from the Christian Science Monitor, one of the most objective news sources in the country?

Re:NTD TV is run by Falun Gong (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36632778)

Falun Gong has long tried to overthrow the current Chinese regime.

That's hilarious. The Chinese state fiercely promoted Falun Gong until it got jealous at its popularity and started locking them up, torturing them, etc. I think the totalitarian regime that thinks that a group of pacifist meditators is a threat to them is the crackpot here.

Re:NTD TV is run by Falun Gong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36638716)

China's pissed because they've been teaching that you don't need things to be happy and that you can be a good person without being a productive worker. They also promote a tread-lightly approach to the environment and social welfare. It seems the worst that religion would do to punish anybody is giving the silent treatment and avoiding interaction. (They feel karma itself will handle any injustice otherwise.) Since that goes against the grain of consumerism which the government promotes as the status quo, that's where the big problem lies. China doesn't want its people sitting around going "ohmmm" or doing tai-chi all day when they could be out shopping and doing business or working in factories.

If you want to sum it up, it seems to be a more modern remix of Buddhism and Taoism with a bit of spiritualism while using a modern spin in presentation and a focus on meditation techniques as a means to self enlightenment. Seems a little kit-bashed, but that's just my take on it. Of course you can find out what their deal is on your own. Unlike some other cults they're also seem fairly open as to what they're about, I suppose they would be ok with and may even promote use of the CC-BY-NC-ND license in regards to their published works.

Satellite dishes are illegal??? (3, Insightful)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632520)

I always wondered why Chinese people couldn't just use satellites to get around the firewall, or to at least receive broadcasts. It amazes me that they're just plain illegal. I can't even imagine living in a country where the government has such a great need to control your thoughts, that they tell you that you can't even listen to what anyone from outside your country might be saying.

Re:Satellite dishes are illegal??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36632556)

Because it is actually very easy to get around the firewall with normal Internet.....everyone who wants to get more information knows how to use free proxy servers, cheap vpns....

Re:Satellite dishes are illegal??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36632668)

I live in China. About 10km south of central Shanghai. I have two satellite dishes on my southern balcony, plenty of my neighbors have satellite dishes as well.

Re:Satellite dishes are illegal??? (1)

immakiku (777365) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632886)

It might be illegal, but nobody knows it; everybody who wants one will probably just get one (I used to live in China). Not that I agree one iota with it, but I can definitely understand the government's need to control thoughts: it's lead to great stable economic development so far; they operate in what has always been the prevailing mode of government throughout history; they have a different idea of morality (one that's not necessarily wrong) - that the individual rights are weighed much more lightly compared with the greater societal good. In addition, though not overtly, our media is also structured in such a way that they passively try to control our thoughts.

Re:Disgusting apologist (3, Informative)

Ryxxui (1108965) | more than 2 years ago | (#36633362)

You don't agree with it, but you shower them with praise for the successes that they have gained by sacrificing the individual rights of the people. You might as well be one of those people trying to argue that Hitler fixed the German and/or US economy. (I don't care about Godwin's Law, since your opinion here actually does remind me of one I've heard before). I don't care if they have acheived "great stable economic development" (what's so stable about 20M+ dead of starvation in three years, anyways)- they did it through abuse and exploitation.

Re:Satellite dishes are illegal??? (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 2 years ago | (#36634806)

the individual rights are weighed much more lightly compared with the greater societal good

Where the "greater societal good" means "our power must not be challenged". It's the same in any government that fights their way to power in the name of the people, and then becomes that which they were fighting against.

Re:Satellite dishes are illegal??? (1)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | more than 2 years ago | (#36635184)

I would believe them more praiseworthy if they didn't persecute people attempting to hold the Chinese government accountable by its own laws. Complain about the government seizing your land and giving it to some developer? Start a lawsuit about shoddy construction standards on a local school (exposed by said school collapsing in an earthquake)?

Once you permit the government to make the decisions without question, the people that make up the government will do whatever they can get away with. Some might even think they are doing so in the national interest.

Re:Satellite dishes are illegal??? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632960)

Yes, in the USA it's a lot easier. They just lie to us and our media is too lazy to check any of it out. It's a lot cheaper than Chinas method.

Re:Satellite dishes are illegal??? (4, Informative)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#36633076)

Satellite dishes by themselves aren't illegal. What's illegal is private installation of satellite dish systems. Only the state-approved companies are allowed to install their dishes and decoder boxes, and equipment import/sale is heavily regulated. If private installations are found, you'll be fined and you'll have the option of removing it yourself or have it forcibly removed by public security. That sort of control effectively locks out anything you're not allowed to see.

Re:Satellite dishes are illegal??? (2)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#36633146)

Actually, I shouldn't have said it was effective, since plenty of people have illegal satellite installs, especially when they're so inconspicuously small nowadays. But there certainly is an effort to keep control.

Re:Satellite dishes are illegal??? (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 2 years ago | (#36633238)

I always wondered why Chinese people couldn't just use satellites to get around the firewall, or to at least receive broadcasts. It amazes me that they're just plain illegal. I can't even imagine living in a country where the government has such a great need to control your thoughts, that they tell you that you can't even listen to what anyone from outside your country might be saying.

Iron curtain was like that. Listening to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Free_Europe/Radio_Liberty [wikipedia.org] was illegal in Poland.

Blasted, if the receiver is illegal? (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#36632738)

I think someone is overestimating the effect of a satellite transmission into a country where satellite receivers are illegal.

It would be like flashing a school for the blind. Sure, it is fun but overall, don't expect much screaming and shouting... how do I know? Never you mind.

This Is a Non-Story: Chinese Firewall Easily Beat (1)

Traiano (1044954) | more than 2 years ago | (#36633510)

I travel to China regularly and use a commercial VPN site whose server is in San Francisco to connect to the unfiltered internet. The whole discussion of a Chinese Firewall is purely academic. It takes only about $2/month to go around it.

Re:This Is a Non-Story: Chinese Firewall Easily Be (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 2 years ago | (#36633672)

The whole discussion of a Chinese Firewall is purely academic. It takes only about $2/month to go around it.

The average income in China is about $5 a day. They aren't worried about foreigners getting on the unfiltered web.

Re:This Is a Non-Story: Chinese Firewall Easily Be (2)

Traiano (1044954) | more than 2 years ago | (#36637170)

First, even if you were right (which you are not) my estimated $2/month cost for unrestricted internet comes out to 1.3% of monthly income. A small--but not insignificant--amount to pay for unbridled access to information.

But your number was incorrect. China earned in $12/day nationwide in 2004 [worldsalaries.org] . And, more apropos to the discussion, China's urban citizenry is brought home $20/day in 2004. It is beyond dispute that the average income in China has increased dramatically since 2004.

My point is that $2/month still represents the relatively small contribution of 0.5% of the average urbanites' monthly income in 2004. The relative cost is at least half as large today.

To repeat myself: the cost of unfiltered internet in China is very small. New broadcasting mechanisms are an inconsequential contribution to the current availability of unrestricted information.

Falun Gong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36635560)

I just wish my fellow citizens here in the west can embrace Falun Gong as much as my government thinks they are a worthwhile religion.
I mean a Falun Gong Temple around every block of Americana. Falun Gong practitioners going door to door soliciting, ...just warms my heart to no end.
Obama should write a blank cheque every year to these oppressed believers so they can have safe haven and thrive right here in the good old U-S-of-A!

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