By Lin Miao-Jung
Taiwan yesterday denied an assertion by Chinese authorities that Beijing had informed Taipei of its suspicion that Taiwan-based followers of the Falun Gong movement were interfering with Chinese satellite television signals.
'We never received any message from Beijing informing us about the matter,' said Chen Ming-tong, the vice chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, at a routine weekly news conference yesterday.
The council also called on China to provide accurate information in a responsible manner -- via 'already-established channels' -- to avoid misunderstandings and miscalculations between the two sides.
'If the Chinese authorities attach importance to this issue, they should seek assistance from Taiwan via the channel between the Straits Exchanges Foundation (SEF) and the Association of Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS),' Chen said.
He added that it was not a wise move for Beijing to bypass this shortcut. [ ]
Falun Gong base
Chen's comments came in response to China's Taiwan Affairs Office's accusation earlier this week that Falun Gong followers had used Taiwan as a base to [tap] into the state-run SINOSAT satellite's signals twice this month. Chinese officials said the source of the interference had been traced to Yangmingshan. [ ]
Chen said that the government has found no evidence that the alleged interference came from Taiwan.
He also accused China of hacking into the signals of Taiwan's seven commercial broadcasting stations.
'Since last July, China's official radio stations have overridden seven Taiwan commercial radio stations, including Taiwan's largest radio station, the Broadcasting Corporation of China,' Chen said. [ ]
The statement also urged China to abide by International Tele-communication Union rules and regulate its radio broadcast transmissions to ensure the rights of listeners in Taiwan.
Chang Ching-his, the Falun Gong's branch leader in Taiwan and a professor of economics at National Taiwan University, has denied Beijing's accusations that Taiwan-based members of the movement were responsible for interfering with the satellite signals.
He also said China should not attack the group by any means.
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