Reflections Upon the Satellite Interception Incident
On July 7 and 8, 2002, the Chinese media published an explosive report revealing that in the time period from June 23 to June 30, nine CCTV programs and ten Provincial TV programs broadcast through Sinosat were intercepted and replaced by Falun Gong truth-clarification programs. The ten provinces include Sichuan Province, Guizhou Province, and Yunan Province. Major media channels around the world picked up on this story. The Chinese government launched another round of media attacks and claimed that it was Falun Gong practitioners abroad who were behind this interception incident. The Falun Gong Information Center stated that they had no knowledge of Falun Gong involvement in this activity. They also speculated that the media campaign centered on the 'Sinosat Interception Incident' might possibly be another hoax similar to the staged Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation Incident and the so-called 'Anthrax Attack Incident'... in order to incite the masses' hatred against Falun Gong practitioners so that the persecution of Falun Gong could continue more expeditiously.
Two months later, the Chinese media again announced that from September 9 to 13, the Sinosat broadcast which covers the entire country was intercepted. The "TV in Every Village" program of CCTV, the Education Channel, and several provincial programs were all pre-empted. This time they claimed that the interception signals came from Taiwan. In response to this unfounded claim, Chang Ching-his, the director of the Taiwan Falun Dafa Association, pointed out that the Chinese government's accusing Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners of interfering with satellite signals, without any evidence, was sheer slander. When judged by the judicial standards of democratic countries, such slander is a violation of human rights, and furthermore, it is illegal.
In each of the two Sinosat incidents, the Chinese state run media targeted Falun Gong. We can see that the more than three years' persecution of Falun Gong by Jiang's regime is a failure. Thus, they are in urgent need of finding new excuses to escalate the persecution. It also indicates that Jiang is extremely afraid of Falun Gong practitioners' "clarifying the facts" to the Chinese people. Since the beginning of the persecution in 1999, the Jiang regime has been trying to eliminate Falun Gong's voice. They have confiscated and destroyed multitudes of Falun Gong books, audio materials, and video materials. They have severely pressured Falun Gong practitioners, trying to force them to renounce their belief. They have sentenced those who dare to uphold justice for Falun Gong to forced labor camps or prisons. Only the state run media's one sided reports on Falun Gong are available to the Chinese people. The Chinese people are unable to find out what Falun Gong really is through any unbiased official channels. In reviewing recent historical political movements, people will quickly realize that these kinds of media campaign reports are not trustworthy.
The Sinosat interception is a very good opportunity for the millions of Falun Gong practitioners who have been suffering under the persecution to tell their side of the story. Jiang's strong response to the interception clearly shows the desperate and malicious nature of his three-year-old campaign to demonize Falun Gong. Had the Falun Gong practitioners been allowed to speak to the public, the persecution could not have been carried on to the extent that it has. Whoever accomplished the interception has successfully broken through the information blockade that the Chinese dictators have constructed over the past decades. The interception provided the Chinese people with an opportunity to learn the truth of the current situation in China, thus giving the Chinese people access to information that they are entitled to. It is well known that there is no truly independent media in China. All the newspapers, magazines, journals, radio stations, and TV stations have been reduced to being the mouthpiece of the Chinese government. The Chinese people can only listen to what they are allowed to listen to and read only what they are allowed to read. Media reports are not truly based on facts and are unable to really represent the feelings of the public. Instead, they are the tools of the dictators and are used to influence and control the public's mindset. Thus, unlike in other countries, the media in China has no power whatsoever to monitor the operations of the government.
Meanwhile, Jiang's regime has been exploiting every possible means to block the free exchange of information. They forbid Chinese people from watching TV programs produced abroad, and they interrupt overseas radio program signals. They are even trying to completely control the Internet. They have set up firewalls on the Internet to block overseas websites, they have closed computer labs in China, and they monitor e-mail closely. These are obvious violations of international covenants, and people's rights of privacy. Only North Korea, the former Taliban government of Afghanistan, and a few other rogue nations are still imposing such restrictions on their own citizens. During the current information era, it is ludicrous to fight against the trend of information exchange. It is an outrageous joke that Jiang claimed that the current ruling Party in China represents the most advanced power of productivity.
The media is a public resource. It should be used by the people. In civilized societies, the responsibilities of the media are to monitor the government and to report on different opinions from various sources, accurately and in a timely way. An informed citizenry and the impartiality of the media and are both very important for protecting the common good of a society. Those who accomplished the Sinosat interception were trying to restore the freedom of speech, and to help the Chinese people regain their basic right to learn the true facts. They are truly fighting for the benefit of the Chinese people. Their brave actions are honorable and just.