Fri, Jul 07, 2017 - Page 3 News List

RTI defends membership in broadcast group

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Radio Taiwan International (RTI) has successfully fended off a Chinese challenge over its membership in the Association for International Broadcasting (AIB), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

“At this year’s first meeting of AIB’s executive board, the possibility of ejecting RTI to make room for China Central Television [CCTV] was discussed, but RTI vice president Travis Sun’s (孫文魁) proactive handling of the matter has dealt with the situation,” ministry spokeswoman Eleanor Wang (王珮玲) said.

Chinese-language weekly magazine the Journalist reported that the board’s chairman had raised the motion after meetings with non-member CCTV.

RTI’s roots can be traced back to the Central Broadcasting System founded by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government in China in 1928. It remains Taiwan’s national broadcaster with continued funding from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

RTI in 1999 joined the AIB, joining the ranks of other government-sponsored broadcasters including the BBC, Agence France-Presse and Russia’s RT.

Sun was last year elected to the AIB’s six-member executive board.

During a June 20 teleconference, he was reportedly confronted with a secretariat motion that included a proposal to force RTI to leave or unofficially participate in the organization to make way for Chinese state media.

The Journalist reported that the motion was rejected after RTI’s protests won the support of British, German, French and Russian committee members.

China has long made an issue of any Taiwanese participation in international organizations.

Wang confirmed that RTI has not sent personnel to participate in the AIB’s annual meeting in London due to “internal reasons,” instead being represented by personnel from the Taipei Representative Office in the UK.

The foreign ministry has expressed concern over the incident with RTI, telling it assistance would be provided if necessary, she said.

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