NTDTV: Focus on Negotiations with Eutelsat

After information surfaced indicating that Eutelsat may terminate transmission of New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV) programs, civic organisations, individual NTDTV supporters around the world, US senators, and EU parliament members made loud appeals. This resulted in an agreement by Eutelsat to temporarily extend NTDTV broadcasting in Asia. NTDTV is presently trying to reach a new, long-term contract with Eutelsat. On May 1st, 2005, a Clearwisdom.net reporter interviewed Ms. Hong Kaili, spokeswoman for NTDTV, who said that the negotiations are encountering interference from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and the issue still needs attention and support.

NTDTV, headquartered in New York, is an objective and independent TV station that has given detailed reports on sensitive topics that the CCP strictly blocks, but that concern all Chinese people. These topics include issues such as Jiang Zemin ceding Chinese territory, the facts of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, Article 23 in Hong Kong, pro-democracy movements, the SARS epidemic, and the truth about Falun Gong, among other vital information.

Since 1999, when the persecution of Falun Gong began, the CCP has blocked information and created lies and slander, using the entire government's propaganda machinery to attack and defame Falun Gong. NTDTV has given in-depth and truthful reporting of Falun Gong's dissemination around the world, and made known the ruthless persecution of Falun Gong and its practitioners in China. NTDTV is currently broadcasting the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party during peak viewing times, as well as reporting the latest information on the wave of withdrawals from the CCP, all of which the CCP fears.

The CCP strictly monitors the media and blocks any media that supports democracy and freedom. NTDTV has been transmitting uncensored programs around the clock to people in Mainland China and other parts of Asia via Eutelsat's W5 satellite. NTDTV opened a historic window of freedom in the sky above China.

Ms. Hong Kaili said that looking at this incident of Eutelsat trying to terminate NTDTV's contract, it is obvious that the CCP is highly fearful of NTDTV signals being transmitted into Mainland China. Many Western media have tried to deliver truthful information into China in the past, but they could not. NTDTV did, and that is why NTDTV is crucially important.

Ms. Hong Kaili said that during the satellite incident, the CCP asserted great pressure on Eutelsat and caused tremendous interference for the negotiations. However, after this information was made public, people around the world reacted strongly. So far, over 70,000 viewers signed an appeal to American President George W. Bush on the NTDTV website. Many viewers in Mainland China sent e-mails to Eutelsat expressing their support for NTDTV. One-hundred-and-thirty-one NGOs, including many Chinese community organisations, wrote joint letters to President Bush, in which they asked the President to intervene in the matter. Ninety-three members from the US Congress signed a letter addressed to President Bush, asking him to ensure NTDTV's transmission into China. More than 60 Members of the European Parliament signed a letter to Eutelsat's Chairman in which they wrote, "We count on you to maintain our joint commitment to fundamental European values and agreements, so that this 'open satellite window' continues to grow wider."

Ms. Hong Kaili said that the temporary extension for NTDTV transmission is the result of strong support from various segments of society.

Hong Kaili pointed out that the CCP has always interfered with NTDTV. The satellite companies that used to carry NTDTV programs terminated their agreement with the television station when faced with threats from the CCP. The CCP did not achieve its goal this time because so many people took action and the voice of justice is ever louder in support of NTDTV, which is the reason why Eutelsat conceded and returned to the negotiating table.

Ms. Hong Kaili said that negotiations between NTDTV and Eutelsat are still meeting with resistance and pressure, and she hopes that people around the world will continue to pay attention to this matter. People can write, fax, or appeal at Eutelsat branches around the world, or they can continue to sign their names on the NTDTV website to express their support.

Ms. Hong Kaili said, "I think people's support for NTDTV is critical. We need to maintain this energy so the satellite window will become permanent and grow wider."

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