Stop the censoring of Chinese broadcaster

4 July 2008

Stop the censoring of Chinese broadcaster

'The European Commission must use its influence to ensure that the Chinese public can watch NTDTV broadcasts directly and uncensored', says SP Euro-MP Erik Meijer.

Olympic Games

New Tang Dynasty Television broadcasts TV programmes to China. As a result, however, of interference from French satellite corporation Eutelsat, the broadcaster has been removed from the airwaves. The official explanation is that the electricity supply for the broadcasts is not functioning. "But this is happening, by coincidence, on the eve of the Olympic Games," SP Euro-MP Erik Meijer notes. The European Commission maintains commercial relations with Eutelsat, including in the framework of the Galileo project, the EU's own GPS-style system.. "Whatever the journalistic content the Commission must use its relationship with the French company to ensure that it restores NDTV's transmissions as soon as possible, certainly before the start of the Games, and permanently," says Meijer, who has raised the matter in written parliamentary questions to the European Commission.

This is not the first time this kind of thing has occurred. In 2005 Eutelsat attempted to interrupt broadcasts, possibly with an eye to its contract with the Chinese state. Protests from Europe prevented this threat from being carried out.


NTDTV has been described as the only broadcaster aimed at China which transmits uncensored news. The channel claims to have been the first to have carried news about the spread of the infectious disease SARS and the only one to transmit news about Tibet. It also played an important role during the recent major earthquake. It gives a great deal of attention to the position of minorities and dissidents in China.

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