Television signals illegally broadcast by the Falun
Gong cult cut into transmissions using the Sino Satellite
(SINOSAT) from June 23 to 30, blocking the World Cup finals
for viewers in some rural and remote areas in China.
The Radio Administration of
the Ministry of Information Industry said on July 8 that the
hijacking of nine China Central Television Station (CCTV)
channels and 10 provincial TV channels was committed by the
overseas cult organization of Falun Gong, manipulated by its
ringleader Li Hongzhi.
hijack severely interfered with the normal broadcast of
China's TV programs and operations of China's satellite,
which violated the basic rules of civil telecommunications
and international conventions, jeopardized China's national
security and violated the rights and interests of the
The hijack mainly
affected television users in rural and remote areas covered
by the government scheme of "TV signals to every
village." They were viewing celebrations for the fifth
anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China, the World Cup
finals and other major domestic and international news when
the illegal signals occurred.
At 19:00:07 on June 23, some
TV screens in the satellite monitoring center of the China
Radio, Film, Television Satellite Company were suddenly
blackened. Engineers on duty immediately called the Yungang
Earth Station of the Aerospace Science and Technology Group
Company responsible for the transmission of the signals for
the government's "TV signals to every village"
"I have been
working here for many years and have never come across buzz
signals like this," said Sui Xiangdong, engineer on
duty at the Yungang Station. He detected that the nine CCTV
channels transmitted through the SINOSAT were hijacked by
unidentified signals of a similar frequency spectrum to the
Station adjusted the carrier power to see what had happened,
and the TV screens flashed with images of Falun Gong
meantime, the TV monitoring center of the State
Administration of Radio, Film and Television also recorded
the illegal signals: at 19:08:40, Falun Gong propaganda
material appeared on the screen; and at 10:09:26, the word
"Falun Gong" in Chinese flashed again on the
screen and frames of cult activities also appeared.
"The picture flickered,
but I could tell from the footage and content that they were
from the Falun Gong cult," said engineer Zhen Yaqing,
who was on duty at the time.
According to statistics, from
June 23 to 30, Falun Gong organizations outside China
attacked SINOSAT 2A and SINOSAT 3A translators one by one,
10 provincial TV channels of Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan and
others under the government program of "TV signals to
every village" were also seriously affected.
"TV signal hijack for
such a long time and on such a large scale is rare anywhere
in the world," said Du Baichuan, vice president of the
China Satellite Users Society.
Human society has entered the
age of information, and satellite communications are an
important medium for the exchange of information in the
international community, he said.
According to international
rules of telecommunications, the frequencies and technical
parameters of satellite translators are public and
transparent, and the normal operation of international
telecommunications services rely on the self-discipline of
all users and their joint efforts, he added.
"The Falun Gong cult
outside China stole the frequency and technical parameters
used by Chinese radio and television programs and used the
same frequency to interrupt those programs. This illegal act
is the same as having other people's keys made to break into
their houses," said Du Baichuan.
"Falun Gong's act is an
overt challenge to modern civilized society and is a
flagrant subversion of social order and public morality, and
should be condemned unanimously by the international
community," he said.
Professor He Qizhi, director
of the International Institute of Space Law, said,
"Falun Gong's deeds severely trampled on international
conventions and the basic norms of civil
According to the Charter of
the United Nations, relevant international conventions and
radio regulations made by the International
Telecommunications Union, deliberate damaging and
interruption of satellite broadcasting is illegal and should
be punished in accordance with the law, he said.
Overseas Falun Gong cult
organizations used technical methods to harm the public
interests and bring serious consequences to society, said
Cheng Guangren, general manager of the Sino Satellite
Telecommunications Company. This act would bring heavy
economic losses to the satellite firms and users, and caused
serious disorder to the operation of satellite
SINOSAT also carries signals
for weather forecasting and telecommunications services.
Cheng said that if those signals were sabotaged, it would,
beyond doubt, endanger lives and economic safety and would
disrupt the normal operation of China's national economy.
Sun Yulong, a farmer from
Jingtai County in northwest China's Gansu Province, said he
and his fellow villagers watched CCTV channel 7 daily and
benefited a great deal from the scientific farming methods
introduced by the channel.
"What Falun Kong fears is
science, so it prevents us from watching TV," said Sun.
"We hate the cult really."
Shi Fusheng, a resident in
Tiaoshan Town and a footfall fan, said he had waited for
four years to watch the World Cup, but couldn't see the
final match because of Falun Gong's interruption.
"Falun Gong interrupted
our lives," he said, "It's disgusting."
To the people who are
suffering from flooding, the interruption of TV programs --
especially weather forecasts -- is no less than
life-threatening, said Liu Yalong, a grass-roots local
official at Huayin City in Shaanxi Province.
Liu said weather forecasts
were a matter of great consequence, but Falun Kong had no
regard for people's safety and blocked the program, bringing
great harm to the people's lives and properties.
Chinese government departments
have taken effective measures to guard against Falun Gong's
illegal signals. China's radio and TV programs have returned
to normal and all information transmission systems remain
SINOSAT was launched
in 1998 and serves dozens of clients including those of
prime importance to the lives of Chinese people, including
the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, the
Chinese Offshore Petrol Corporation, the National
Meteorological Bureau, and China Unicom.