Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators accused the National Communications Commission (NCC) on Saturday of failing to protect the nation from what the party called “cultural unification” and “political brainwashing,” as several unused AM frequencies in Taiwan face takeover by China-based radio stations.
DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲), who was in southern Taiwan on Saturday, said China’s large-scale invasion of Taiwan’s AM radio frequency constituted “cultural unification,” as its main target of infiltration was southern Taiwan.
“However, the commission has done nothing to yet to prevent the invasion, allowing radio stations in China to barge into Taiwanese society to conduct ‘political brainwashing,’” Kuan said.
DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said the policies of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration have failed, with the government telling the public that radio frequencies were scarce resources, while doing nothing to prevent their occupation by China-based radio stations.
A number of China-based radio stations have recently been found to transmit high-power signals to Taiwan, in particular southern Taiwan, taking over more than half of the vacant AM radio channels in the area.
Residents in southern Taiwan who switch on their radios will have no trouble tuning in to a Chinese radio program, with the China National Radio Voice of China taking up frequencies of 549 AM, 837 AM and 1116 AM, the Voice of Strait seizing 666 AM and the Voice of the Strait Minnan occupying 783 AM.
At about 5pm on Saturday, the Voice of Strait’s first item in its news reports was a statement by Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Vice Chairman Zhang Mingqing (張銘清).
In the statement, Zhang praised progress in cross-strait relations over the past few years and called for more cross-strait exchanges, saying cross-strait peace had benefited people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Zhang’s statement was followed by the news of the day, including a new story appealing for simplification of the procedures for cross-strait travel, a story stating that only a minority of Taiwanese felt it problematic that Ma doubles as Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT), chairman and a story stating Taiwanese generally felt satisfied with tourism in China.
According to a telecommunications technician, if radio stations were to transmit high-power radio frequency from China’s Fujian Province to Taiwan, Taiwan’s entire west coast would be covered.
NCC acting spokesperson Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said that if any Chinese radio program was found to interfere with the country’s legal radio stations, the commission would notify the Mainland Affairs Council.
As for China’s radio stations taking up Taiwan’s unused AM frequencies, Wong said the issue could only be dealt with through cross-strait negotiations.
Commenting on Wong’s response, Kuan accused the commission of being passive, saying it should regard invasive radio signals as illegal radio stations and therefore conduct technical interference or signal blocking.
“Signal interference can only be conducted within a legal framework and with frequency licenses, which requires further deliberation,” Wong said in response to Kuan’s proposal.
Former Radio Taiwan International president Cheryl Lai (賴秀如) said that compared with southern radio stations, which offer insipid content and serve as a platform for selling health products, Chinese radio programs are filled with discussion on various subjects, such as art, culture, current affairs or investment, drawing the attention of many audiences.
“So long as the country’s radio programs provide solid and substantial content, they can withstand the invasion by China’s frequency signal,” Lai said.
Translated by Stacy Hsu, Staff Writer