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Taiwan Action on Cult Urged
Beijing Wednesday urged the Taiwan authorities to take immediate action to stop the illegal TV "hijacking'' of a mainland satellite system by Falun Gong cult followers from the island's Taipei area.

Zhang Mingqing, a spokesman with the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, accused Taipei of "harboring and even supporting'' the cult's activities to undermine peace and stability in cross-Straits ties.

He warned that Taipei's support for the Falun Gong group -- which was banned as an "evil cult'' in July 1999 on the mainland -- has not only hurt the feelings of compatriots across the Taiwan Straits but also further damaged the already strained cross-Straits ties.

"The Taiwan authorities should not shirk their responsibilities and should take immediate and effective measures to investigate and punish the criminal activity and prevent the occurrence of similar incidents,'' Zhang told a press conference in Beijing.

Liu Lihua, director of the Radio Bureau under the Ministry of the Information Industry, said television signals illegally broadcast by Falun Gong cult devotees have disrupted transmissions that use the Sino Satellite (SINOSAT) system since September 8. The system covers the whole of Chinese territory.

The three SINOSAT transmitters 2A, 3A and 6A have been disrupted, according to Liu.

Transmissions of the China Education TV station and some provincial-level TV stations were interrupted, and normal viewing was cut off entirely for viewers in some rural and mountainous areas.

Liu told reporters that the source of the illegal TV signals has been pinpointed to Taipei in Taiwan.

"We've utilized a wide range of technical means to monitor and analyze the hijacking signals and determined an accurate position for the hijacking source,'' Liu said.

"Specialists are completely certain about the positioning result and we have ample, irrefutable and credible evidence,'' Liu said.

The official added that the mainland may release the related technical data when it considers this necessary.

Zhang said that the mainland technicians traced the source to the Taipei area when Falun Gong adherents cracked the codes to access the SINOSAT system and spread cult propaganda for the first time in June.

The mainland quickly gave the relevant Taiwan authorities the information through individuals and private groups, due to the absence of official contact between the two sides, according to Zhang.

"They have known about it since the end of June but, up to now, they have not taken effective measures, so these satellite attacks are still happening continually,'' the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Taiwan reportedly pledged Wednesday to crack down on illegal satellite broadcasts in response to Beijing's demand for swift action to stop Falun Gong members using the island as a base to disrupt mainland television programs.

(China Daily September 26, 2002)

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