Vietnam limits Chinese TV broadcasts

Posted on August 20, 2012

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Experts said Vietnam’s recent move to limit the broadcast of Chinese television programs is an attempt to restrain China’s cultural influence amid rising disputes between the two sides over the South China Sea.

During a meeting on Thursday, Hoang Huu Luong, head of the press department of Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications, Thursday asked local radio and television stations to limit the broadcast of foreign TV series, especially those from the Chinese mainland and South Korea, according to the Ho Chi Minh City-based newspaper Tuoi Tre.

At the meeting, media representatives and publicity departments from 24 provinces and cities were also asked to reinforce Vietnam’s sovereignty over the disputed islands during coverage of the issue.

The Global Times’ correspondent in Vietnam discovered that China Central Television (CCTV) has not been available since the beginning of August.

Officials have offered no explanation for the move. (*)

A Chinese entrepreneur, who often travels to Vietnam, told the Global Times that some hotels had cut Chinese television programs offered by CCTV. The hotels also were unable to offer an explanation for the move.

Several five-star hotels in Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City told the Global Times that they only offered CCTV in Putonghua.

Meanwhile, the link to China Radio International’s (CRI) Vietnamese-language channel was removed some 10 days ago from the website of Voice of Vietnam (VOV), Wu Zhao-

ying, the director at Vietnamese department of CRI, told the Global Times.

Wu said she did not know why the link was removed and wants to discuss the issue with her counterparts at VOV.

CRI’s website includes a link to VOV’s website.

“It’s an important signal showing that the South China Sea dispute is causing tension between China and Vietnam,” Liu Feng, a researcher at the Research Center for Oceans Law and Policy under the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, told the Global Times.

“Vietnam’s government wants to block news broadcasts about the South China Sea from China, in case Vietnamese viewers might be influenced by the reports,” Liu said Sunday.

The Vietnam National Assembly in June passed the “Vietnamese Law of the Sea,” saying that China’s Xisha Islands and Nansha Islands in the South China Sea were under Vietnam’s jurisdiction, reported the Xinhua News Agency.

China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun said Vietnam’s action is illegal, invalid and detrimental to peace and stability in the South China Sea.

“It’s stupid for government to limit movies and TV programs from China,” a Vietnamese college student calling himself Duong Tri on Facebook told the Global Times, adding that a few TV programs won’t change people’s minds about the political dispute.

Global Times

(*) Reasons for not broadcasting Chinese television programs in Vietnam:

1./ Fear of uprisings by Chinese workers in Vietnam (90% of infrastructure projects handled by Chinese-owned companies that employ Chinese workers)

The Tuoi Tre newspaper reported that one construction project in northeastern Quang Ninh province employs 2,000 Chinese workers and uses cement and electricity plants built by Chinese companies. (AFP)

Most Chinese working at the Nong Son thermo-power
plant in the central province of Quang Nam are unskilled labourers

Illegal Chinese Workers Robbing & Stealing From Locals In Vietnam

2./ Fear of uprisings by Vietnamese who are dissatisfied with the way the Vietnamese government handles South China Sea disputes, i.e. only timid diplomatic protestations against China’s aggressive moves in the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos while forcefully beating up peaceful Vietnamese marchers who are against China’s illegal creating the prefecture Sansha City in Vietnam-owned properties, and China’s intimidation tactics against Vietnamese fishermen (robbing fishing equipment, boats; beating and kidnapping Vietnamese fishing crew; demanding ransom in exchange for crews’ release, etc.)

Vietnamese police officers drag an anti-China protester during a demonstration Sunday, July 17, 2011 in Hanoi, Vietnam. A small group of Vietnamese marched Sunday to denounce China’s actions in the South China Sea after about two dozen other protesters were rounded up by police, shoved onto buses and driven away. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

Freshly-released August 5, 2012 Against-China-aggression marchers continued to protest outside of Loc-Ha detention center which is located on the outskirts of Hanoi.

3./ Fear of uprisings by peasants whose land was illegally appropriated by the Vietnamese government

A woman takes a photo of bloggers attending an anti-China protest in Hanoi July 22, 2012. The unlikely alliance between war-hardened farmers and young, urban Internet activists illustrates a rapidly evolving challenge to the Communist government’s authority as Vietnamese grow bolder in their protests over issues ranging from land rights to corruption and China’s expanding regional influence. Photo taken on July 22, 2012.

Vietnam limits Chinese TV, radio programmes

Vietnam has restricted availability of the Chinese television and radio programmes following its spat with Beijing over the disputed islands in the South China Sea.

Hoang Huu Luong, head of the Press Department of Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications, has directed the local radio and television stations to limit the broadcast of foreign TV series, especially those from the Chinese mainland and South Korea, the official media here said Monday.

Hoang also asked the officials to reinforce Vietnam’s sovereignty over the disputed islands in their coverage, the ‘Global Times’ reported.

The Chinese state TV channels have not been made available there since the beginning of August, the report said.

Hanoi also removed link to China Radio International’s (CRI) Vietnamese-language channel from the website of Voice of Vietnam (VOV).

Wu Zhao-ying, the director at Vietnamese department of CRI said, said she did not know why the link was removed and wants to discuss the issue with her counterparts at VOV.

Chinese strategic analysts linked it to the South China Sea dispute. “It’s an important signal showing that the South China Sea dispute is causing tension between China and Vietnam,” Liu Feng, a researcher at the Research Centre for Oceans Law and Policy under the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, told the daily.

“Vietnam’s government wants to block news broadcasts about the South China Sea from China, in case Vietnamese viewers are influenced by the reports,” Liu said.

Tempers flared up between the two countries in the recent months after the Vietnam National Assembly passed the “Vietnamese Law of the Sea,” asserting that Spratly islands called Xisha and Nansha Islands by China were under Vietnam’s jurisdiction.

Subsequently, China retaliated forming a new city Xisha on the islands and established a military garrison besides calling for bids for oil exploration around the islands.

Indian Express

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