Open Letter from New Tang Dynasty TV Regarding the Inaugural Chinese New Year Global Gala
On the Eve of the New Year, as NTDTV and other Chinese organizations and individuals are preparing for the Inaugural Chinese New Year Global Gala, officials from the Chinese Consulates have been making the rounds to verbally attack NTDTV and the Gala. They are attempting to influence overseas Chinese to turn away from this global gathering of Chinese people, an event that is founded upon the ideals of peace, freedom, and tolerance. The Chinese Consulates' unreasonable, irrational interference with an organization legally incorporated in the United States and other countries is highly unbefitting of their diplomatic status. In addition, this attempt to go outside China to extend their censorship of media oversteps bounds and looks backward, rather than forward.
NTDTV is the world's first independent, nonprofit, Chinese-language television network. Its mission is to provide accurate, timely and objective information to inform, inspire and enrich Chinese people worldwide, and to assist Chinese people to assimilate into international and mainstream communities. NTDTV promotes diversity and universal values of democracy, human rights, and rule of law, and seeks to foster the mutual understanding and integration of Chinese and Western cultures. Since NTDTV was established nearly two years ago, it has brought accurate and timely reports from around the world and local communities to its audience. Such topics include the war in Iraq, the United Nations Human Rights Commissions meetings, Hong Kong's Article 23 legislation, the SARS outbreak, and democracy and human rights issues in China, including the persecution against Falun Gong. To better serve the Chinese community, NTDTV gave in-depth reports of 9/11 and its aftershocks to the local Chinese community, the impact of the SARS outbreak on local economies, ethnic Chinese candidates in the U.S. elections, local activities in Chinese communities worldwide, and other similar items of interest. To express appreciation for overseas Chinese contributions to the advancement of peace, freedom and universal values is exactly the reason for NTDTV to host the Inaugural Chinese New Year Global Gala.
Indeed, NTDTV and the Global Gala have received the overseas Chinese community's support. They come from all walks of life, including the local Chinese enclaves, the scientific community, the arts community, democracy advocates, those from religious circles, as well as many Falun Gong practitioners. Particularly worth mentioning, after enduring more than four years of brutal persecution, some artists and performers in the Falun Gong community have graciously accepted our invitation to take the stage alongside other Chinese and non-Chinese performers at the Gala without asking for anything in return. For this, we would like to express our sincere admiration and appreciation. The mission of our New Year Gala is to gather the global Chinese community together, and to work for a better tomorrow where more people can enjoy peace and freedom and can live more harmoniously among different races and beliefs. This is also what we have been striving for. If this makes some people uncomfortable, then perhaps those people need to learn to tolerate others' backgrounds and viewpoints. We welcome everyone to participate in and attend our New Year Gala, including members of the Chinese diplomatic corps, Chinese Communist Party members, and even those who are intolerant of others' freedoms of belief and speech. We sincerely hope that in the near future, the outstanding performers of Mainland China will participate in NTDTV's Chinese New Year Global Gala.
In the free world, everyone has his or her own basic rights, and everyone is able to independently think, analyze and judge for themselves what is right and wrong, good or bad, in society. People are able to freely express themselves under the protection of laws. If because of its objective and impartial reporting on human rights issues and facts, NTDTV is under direct or indirect attacks backed by autocratic forces, we can only express our regret. Having a choice among sources is better than only one source. Having a choice among voices is better than only one voice. This is the essence of freedom of speech. Time, and our audience, will tell if NTDTV is a fair, impartial media outlet, but the existence of NTDTV should be welcomed by Chinese people inside and outside of China and by all those who cherish and uphold human rights and freedom.
It is a waste of time to attack NTDTV over the issue of Falun Gong. Falun Gong is a sensitive topic for Chinese people inside China and abroad. But, as long as we respect others' beliefs and their rights to believe, and at the same time respect others' peaceful efforts to win and safeguard the right to believe, the issue of Falun Gong will not be used to stir up discord and hatred among the Chinese people. On the contrary, the issue of Falun Gong will help to unite the Chinese people all over the world with a bond of peace and freedom, creating a better, more harmonious and tolerant future together.
In the coming year, NTDTV will continue as it always has, safeguarding freedom of speech and freedom of the press. NTDTV will continue to provide accurate, timely information and to enrich the lives of Chinese people around the world.
New Tang Dynasty Television
January 4, 2004