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China's bid to squeeze Radio Taiwan International out of AIB fails

2017/07/06 17:41:47

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Taipei, July 6 (CNA) An attempt by China to squeeze Radio Taiwan International (RTI, 央廣) out of the Association for International Broadcasting (AIB) has failed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Thursday.

The AIB, founded in 1993, is a non-profit, non-government trade association that represents and supports international television and radio broadcasters and online broadcasters.

MOFA spokeswoman Eleanor Wang (王珮玲) said the ministry has stayed "on top of the situation," and that such a possibility has been ruled out.

She said RTI has been an AIB member since 1999, and RTI Vice President Travis Sun (孫文魁) was elected one of the 17 members of the AIB executive committee in January 2016, with a high support rating.

Wang said that China's suppression has always been there, and that the ministry has been keeping close tabs on the matter.

Media reports have said that during an AIB conference in London at the end of June, China said its state-run China Central Television (CCTV) has not joined the AIB because RTI is a member, and asked the executive committee to discuss the issue of RTI's withdrawal in exchange for CCTV's participation.

RTI called a meeting over the matter and released a statement in which it argued that the media should focus on freedom, equality and the pursuit of truth, and should avoid political interference.

It stressed that the AIB should not encroach upon or strip the basic rights of the existing members simply because it wants the participation of new members.

The statement received positive responses from AIB members from Britain, France, Germany and Russia, and RTI retained its membership.

(By Scarlett Chai and Lilian Wu)