Taipei told to stop hijacking of TV signals by Falungong

AFP, Oct. 31, 2002

BEIJING – China said yesterday Taiwan-based followers of the banned Falungong movement have again hijacked satellite television signals, and demanded the island take immediate action.

The repeated interruptions to signals from the Sinosat communications satellite had come despite earlier warnings to Taipei that it must act, said the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

At the end of last month, after the earlier incidents, Chinese officials had ‘urged Taiwanese authorities to take immediate action to find and stop the source of the signals to prevent a repetition of the incident’, spokesman Li Weiyi told reporters.

‘But on Oct 24, at 36 seconds after 10:00, the 2A transmitter of the Sinosat satellite was again the object of attack by an illegal signal,’ he said.

Then, ‘on Oct 29 at 17:00, an illegal signal seriously affected normal reception of programmes transmitted by the 2A and 3A transmitters on several occasions’, he added.

Technical investigations ‘had determined that the source of the disruption was again found to be the municipality of Taipei’, he said.

‘We demand that the Taiwanese authorities immediately find the source of the illegal signal and severely punish’ those responsible, he said.

China first announced in July that hijackers had broken codes to access the Sinosat system and spread the propaganda of the Falungong movement during World Cup soccer broadcasts the month before.

But at that time they were unaware of the source of the illegal broadcasts.

Last month, however, officials said the by then regular interruptions had been traced back to Taipei, and demanded immediate action from the Taiwanese government.

A week ago Beijing announced that a new French-made Apstar VI satellite it was launching next year would be fitted with special technology to prevent ‘malicious interruptions’.

China outlawed Falungong as an ‘evil cult’ in mid-1999.

The group has recently tried to get its message across directly to people in China via a technically sophisticated propaganda blitz.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday October 31, 2002.
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