New York, January 15, 2009 - NTDTV wishes to express its gratitude to the European Parliament for adopting Written Declaration (86/2008) urging Eutelsat S.A. to "resume NTDTV transmission to China without delay and to provide reasons for this suspension."
It is for the first time EP has officially adopted a written declaration about the issue of press freedom and human rights in China. We salute EP for its determination to defend media freedom and pluralism as provided by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
As a non-profit television broadcaster and the only independent Chinese-language television to broadcast to China, NTDTV has been dedicated to providing objective, uncensored news to Chinese residents since 2004. Our independence has long been viewed as a threat by the Chinese Communist regime, which heavily restricts the freedom of speech, particularly that of the media, including the Internet, within its borders, and interferes dissenting voices all over the world.
The regime has often used the carrot of state-owned enterprise contracts and the stick of denying market access to control the news reporting of Western media entities. Although Eutelsat claims the termination of NTDTV's broadcast over China is due to purely technical reasons, from evidence obtained by Reporters Without Borders, we have reasons to believe Eutelsat has intentionally kept NTDTV off the Chinese airwaves in order to pave the way for business ties with the Chinese Communist regime.
Therefore, this Written Declaration not only affirms EP's support for NTDTV, but for media freedom in general. It is especially an indictment on the Chinese Communist regime's attempt to interfere with Western corporations' business practices through economic blackmail.
With this Written Declaration, EP has taken an important step in helping Eutelsat restore its credibility. NTDTV asks all individuals and organizations concerned about social justice and freedom to express their disapproval to Eutelsat for sacrificing the right-to
know of 1.4 billion people living in China. In the mean time, NTDTV will continue to welcome any opportunity to discuss with Eutelsat a way to re-open the only window of information freedom above mainland China, and restore the access to uncensored news for its people.
New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV), the New York-based network
whose broadcast was cut, stands at the forefront in promoting media freedom in China.
It was the first Chinese-language media to break news about the SARS epidemic in China weeks before the Chinese regime allowed coverage. NTDTV also carries extensive coverage of the melamine-contaminated dairy products that left 300,000 infants severely ill and six dead in China and have found their way into food supplies around the world. Both incidents spread far beyond China's borders, affecting travel, import regulations, and health worldwide.