Mon, May 13, 2002 - Page 1 News List

Internet radio station launches

TUNING IN TAIWAN TaiwaneseVoice.net plans to promote a Taiwanese consciousness to balance what former president Lee Teng-hui says is the media bias toward unification

By Tsai Ting-i  /  STAFF REPORTER

Ex-president Lee Teng-hui, third left, Vice President Annette Lu, second right, and others touch a crystal ball yesterday to launch TaiwaneseVoice.net.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday attended the launch of what backers say will be a pro-Taiwan, Internet-based radio station.

TaiwaneseVoice.net, a Web-based radio station with ambitions to branch out into video as well, is aimed at promoting a Taiwanese consciousness and voice for Taiwan as an independent country.

"The pro-unification media have been manipulating [Taiwan's politics] behind the scenes, and have been a tool of political struggles and social conflicts," Lee said at yesterday's ceremony. "They have completely forgotten the media's social responsibility for fairness and justice."

Lee and Lu attended the ceremony as special guests. The former president promised to host a talk show for the radio station in the future when it becomes possible for the company to broadcast both sound and image.

According to the company, the name and content of Lee's talk show is still under discussion. Still, the station has decided to install the necessary equipment at Lee's house to help get the program on the air.

"The Web site will help voice Taiwan's strong desire to participate in international organizations and the international community, and will help gain international support and understanding," Lee said.

Huang Erh-hsuan (黃爾璇), president of the station and a former DPP lawmaker, said the Web site would help get Taiwan noticed on the world stage.

"If our voice is not heard, we won't have any chance of getting out of our current difficult position. This Web site will serve to balance local media bias [against Taiwan] and broadcast our voices out of Taiwan," Huang said.

The Internet radio station will broadcast programs about Taiwanese culture, history and language in an effort to promote understanding and knowledge of Taiwan. It will also cooperate with Formosa TV station and broadcast the channel's news programs online.

Programs will be in Chinese, Hokkien and English. The company has also set up studios in Tokyo and Los Angles, which will produce shows on the two cities' pop cultures.

In addition to promoting Taiwanese consciousness to the world, the Web site will work with Tibetan independence activists and set up the "Tibet Channel." The channel will offer information about the Tibetan independence movement and updated news about the Dalai Lama.

The station's staff said yesterday the radio station is scheduled to interview the Dalai Lama in December.

Many heavyweight activists in favor of Taiwan's independence -- such as historian Su Beng (史明) and Lee Hung-hsi (李鴻禧), law professor at National Taiwan University -- as well as many DPP key members, such as Cabinet Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan (李應元), attended yesterday's ceremony to show their support for the radio station.

The vice president yesterday called on the public to stop debating unification and independence, saying that Taiwan is already an independent country.

"What we need to do is to unify our country, which is in danger of splitting, in terms of culture and political beliefs," Lu said.

"There are no more indigenous Taiwanese (本省人) or mainlanders (外省人). Instead, there are compatriots and foreigners in this country. Taiwan is facing a crisis," Lu warned.

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