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Leaked Document: Chinese Embassy Tried to Silence TV Network in Canada

Posted by Author on April 4, 2007

By Jason Loftus, Epoch Times, Apr 04, 2007-

TORONTO—The Chinese embassy in Ottawa campaigned aggressively to keep a television network that is critical of the Chinese regime off Canadian airwaves, a document obtained by The Epoch Times shows.

The hand-written report on official letterhead was smuggled out of the embassy by Ms. Zhang Jiyan, the 48-year-old wife of a Chinese diplomat who defected from the embassy in March fearing her belief in Falun Gong would lead to deportation and torture in China.

The document is titled “Investigations and negotiations on New Tang Dynasty Television’s attempt to enter the Canadian cable television broadcast network.”

NTDTV is a New York-based, Chinese-language broadcaster spurned by the communist regime because of its coverage of the Chinese regime’s human rights abuses and its criticism of the Chinese Communist Party.

The report was dated March 17, 2005, roughly one month after NTDTV filed its application to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) seeking permission to broadcast in Canada.

It was written by the first secretary of the embassy’s culture section, Chen Pengfei, and signed by several of the highest-ranked officials at the embassy, including two counsellors, the deputy head of the mission, and Chinese Ambassador Lu Shumin.

“In accordance with the directives from the leader of the embassy, I immediately took actions,” wrote Chen. He said that he had detailed communications four times with the key players in the NTDTV application: the CRTC, Rogers Cable (a likely carrier for NTDTV), and the CCTA, the cable association that sponsored NTDTV’s application.

Chen recommended “negotiating” with Canadian government institutions as well as writing to the CRTC and others.

Mr. Huang Huikang, second in command at the Chinese embassy, added to Chen’s report on March 18:

“It is still possible for us to knock down NTDTV’s attempt to enter the cable television network. We should reinforce the strength of our work. The [embassy’s] culture section and the political section need to study the plans for the next phase.”

He suggested rallying Chinese-Canadians and overseas Chinese students to write letters opposing the NTDTV application, and he discussed holding a meeting to make plans.

Indeed, the public record for the NTDTV application shows that CRTC received nearly identical letters opposing NTDTV from well-known pro-Beijing organizations such as the National Congress of Chinese Canadians, the Federation of Ottawa-Carleton Chinese Organizations, and the Chinese Student Association at the University of Ottawa.

Pattern of Interference

The document provided by Zhang is consistent with others obtained by The Epoch Times that show a pattern of interference targeting NTDTV. A “highly classified” document from China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television dated Dec. 16, 2003 targeted NTDTV’s annual Chinese New Year Spectacular, an annual Chinese cultural show that the network hosts in close to 30 cities around the world. The document said, “the leadership of the Central government has ordered that they [the new year events] be destroyed by any and all means.” If that was not possible, orders were to “minimize their impact.”

Chinese officials have sent letters to politicians, performers, and venues, urging them not to take part in the NTDTV Spectacular or show support.

The regime also pressed satellite providers not to carry NTDTV, says media rights-advocacy group Reporters Without Borders.

The interference also targets dissident and spiritual groups outlawed in China.

According to Zhang, the work of the embassy’s political section includes combating and collecting intelligence on what it calls “the five poisons”: Falun Gong practitioners, Chinese democracy activists, Tibetans, Uighur Muslims, and supporters of Taiwan independence, with Falun Gong being the primary target in recent years.

Chen Yonglin used the same term when he was the consul for political affairs at the Chinese Consulate in Sydney. He defected in 2005 saying he could not bear to do his job, which involved monitoring Falun Gong practitioners and dissidents. In testimony before the U.S. Congress Human Rights Committee, he later described how the Chinese consulates and embassies handle Falun Gong.

“In each Chinese mission overseas, there must be at least one official in charge of the Falun Gong affairs, and the head and the deputy head of the mission will be responsible for the Falun Gong affairs,” he said. “I am aware there are over 1000 Chinese secret agents and informants in Australia who have played a role in persecuting the Falun Gong.”

Huang Huikang had denied there was such a group in the Ottawa Chinese embassy when interviewed last week by CTV over Zhang’s defection.

But in the document Zhang leaked, Huang himself orders embassy staffer Yang Can to take action against Falun Gong as part of the response to the NTDTV application.

“Can you please, first of all, send some anti-Falun Gong materials to relevant [Canadian] institutions, and people?” he wrote.

According to Chinese-language media reports, the Ottawa Chinese Embassy’s political section is also called “the research group.” …… ( More details from the epochtimes report)

Related:
Wife of Chinese Diplomat in Ottawa Defects

One Response to “Leaked Document: Chinese Embassy Tried to Silence TV Network in Canada”

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