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Taiwan urges China to stop hijacking its radio programs

Taiwan on Friday accused Mainland Chinese Broadcasters of hijacking Taiwanese radio station signals, and urged Beijing to take quick action to stop the hijackings.

The allegation followed claims from China this week that illegal satellite broadcasters in Taiwan were hijacking mainland television programs and beaming propaganda from the banned Falun gong spiritual group.

The vice chairman of Taiwan's cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Chen Min-tong, said Friday Chinese broadcasters had been hijacking the signals of seven Taiwanese commercial stations for more than a year.

"Despite protests and calls by the affected local stations to stop such illegal action, mainland authorities have so far failed to improve the situation," Chen said.

The affected broadcasters included Taiwan's largest radio station Broadcasting Corp of China, Chen said.

He said the hijackings had started in July 2001 and described the implications as "serious", although he did not give any estimate of the financial losses the radio stations had suffered.

"We urge China to respect the regulations set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to help maintain normal order of broadcasting operations," Chen said.

"The benefits and rights of Taiwan's broadcasters and audience should not be undermined."

China's Taiwan Affairs Office on Tuesday accused illegal satellite broadcasters of interrupting mainland television programs and beaming Falun gong propaganda by breaking codes and cutting into transmissions from the Sino Satellite system.

Taiwan authorities pledged to crack down on illegal airwaves after Beijing's charge, but Chen said no sources of illegal satellite signals had been detected in the past few days.

"Although Taiwan is not a member of the ITU, we always follow the ITU rules to maintain the broadcasting order," Chen said.

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