Worldwide Commentaries: Eutelsat's Bowing to the Pressure from Beijing will Harm Global Investors' Interests

Veronica Lee

PureInsight | April 18, 2005

[] According to a report on the website of Reporters Without Borders on March the 15th, 2005, bowing to Beijing's pressure, Eutelsat will stop broadcasting the programs of the New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV.) It was reported that since its subsidiary, NSS, started to broadcast the NTDTV's programs to Asia, China included, on July the 1st, 2003, the Paris-headquartered Eutelsat Satellite Company has been repeatedly threatened by the Chinese Communist regime, which is demanding that Eutelsat cancel all the programs provided by NTDTV.

The report also indicated that since the Chinese regime has spent a huge amount of money to broadcast the programs produced by Central Chinese Television (CCTV) in many channels via thirty satellites around the world, China has become a leading client for these satellite companies. Therefore, the Chinese regime is able to take advantage of business interests to threaten Eutelsat to completely stop broadcasting NTDTV's programs. When a French prosecutor was first investigating the case, a lawyer defending Eutelsat also said that the reason for Eutelsat's refusal to renew the contract with the NTDTV was because of business interests.

Now that business interest is a major concern for both parties, I would like to offer my analysis of Eutelsat's deal with China from the angle of investment return to see if it is really worthwhile.

I. The success of foreign investment in China lies in getting real-time information about China's investment environment

All the investors, regardless of whether they majored in business administration or not, should know very clearly that before one has decided to invest in a foreign country, he must first size up the investment environment and collect all the information relating to that country's economic and investment risks. After investing in that country, the investor should be fully informed of all kinds of information relating to that country so that he is able to grasp business opportunities once the investment environment is improved, or minimize his business loss if the investment environment is deteriorating, or even immediately withdraw his capital from that country altogether when the investment environment becomes critical in order to avoid going bankrupt.

When talking about foreign investment risk indexes, there are at least 300 different kinds of authoritative economic indexes around the world, such as the World Bank's "World Business Environment Survey "(WBES), the Transparency International's "the Corruption Perceptions Index" (CPI), the Institutional Investor's "Country Credit Ratings," the PRS Group's "International Country Risk Guide," the Price Waterhouse Cooper's "Opacity Index" and many other authoritative economic indexes. Regardless of whichever you may refer to, it can only help you size up that country's investment environment and the risks from the angle of politics, economy, society, people's livelihood and morality, etc.

All the information relating to a country's political system, economic policies, public security and crime rate, legal policies, judicial fairness, degree of bureaucratic corruption, banking policies, currency circulation, per capital income, obligatory educational system, epidemics, etc. is a concern of foreign investors. Many investment risk indexes are based on the moral standards of the government and its people, such as the indexes of the degree of bureaucratic corruption, crime rates, social order, judicial fairness, etc. because these factors can ensure whether your investment is properly protected, whether your business proceeds can be collected and whether the foreign exchange rate is stable. Other risk indexes include your employee's security, the level of your company's insurance premiums and other important issues such as policies governing share holding, mergers, acquisitions, ownership transfers, etc.

Even if you may get all this critical information eventually, without up-to-the-date information about the society, as jargon in marketing puts it, your investment is very likely to become a worthless "lemon" overnight.

And then here comes the problem: "Will the Chinese Communist regime allow publication of all this information as do the countries with high degrees of transparency?

It seems that there has been an argument like this going on: "The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) did commit all kinds of heinous crimes in the past, but we need to look at the future, and let bygones be bygones." Now what happened fifty years ago may be put aside temporarily, let us examine the credibility of the so-called "new generation leadership of the CCP" by looking at some major events in the last two years.

In 2002, when the deadly SARS epidemic broke out in Southeast Asia, China was the only country that covered up the facts about the epidemic, but it turned out that China was the country hardest hit by SARS. While condemned by the global mass media, it still tried to cover up the facts and declined the visit of WHO personnel and made up false statistics. Among all the SARS-affected countries, China was the only country that claimed to have a "perfect 5-percent monthly infection growth rate." That being the case, the scenario would be that the Chinese authorities first set a fixed infection rate of 5-percent growth rate, and then ordered SARS viruses to carry out its order according to the fixed statistics. What's funnier is that the SARS viruses would be even more obedient than the Chinese People's Liberation Army. What an incredible phenomenon.

In North America, I have personally watched a piece of TV news provided by the CCTV, which would make all medical professionals in the free world burst into laughter. In the footage, a pretty Chinese girl with charming smile claimed that after contracting SARS, she was cured by a Chinese hospital easily, and she also said that contracting SARS was not a big deal in that it was something like coming down with a cold.

The objective of all these lies and cover-ups is to avoid affecting foreign investment in China. Currently, the Korean TV drama series "Dae Jang Gum" that vividly portrays Korea's ancient culinary arts and medicine during China's Ming Dynasty has been fairly popular around the world. Though the audience might not be familiar with knowledge about preventing epidemics, after watching this Korean TV series, they would know that covering up the facts about the epidemic could lead to people's ignorance of the deadly disease and thereby worsen the situation. Disregarding people's lives, the Chinese government covered up the facts about SARS nationwide. When WHO personnel visited China, the Chinese authorities even deployed a large number of police to forcibly take off pedestrians' masks to mislead the survey conducted by WHO personnel.

Since the Chinese regime regards the green grass above people's lives, do you think it would have any credibility? Now that the Chinese regime would even cover up information critical to the lives of such a large population nationwide with false data, simply because it wants to attract foreign investment, what do you think would not be falsified by the regime? Would you believe in the information it provided to foreign investors? Do you think the initiatiation incentives provided by such a government will last long? For more information, please refer to the following reports:

[2] Ministry of Commerce of PRC will End "Superior Policies" that Favor Foreign Investments. (in Chinese)
[3] Guo Shuqing Indicates that China will Review Its Unconditional Favors in Support of Export Businesses:

Some businessmen believe that they will be safe and sound as long as they build good rapport with Chinese Communist government and China's underworld organizations. However, today's China is no longer the "Shanghai Triad" of the past. After the complete breakdown of traditional Chinese social ethics, Chinese officials and gangsters do not think as highly of loyalty to their friends as they used to, and neither do they have the concept of sustainable management. As a business investor, you should know, "being nostalgic" may only become a liability to making rational judgment and become a fatal threat to your investment. Faced with today's Chinese society where people are ready to kill the hen that lays the golden eggs, living in a situation as if they were prepared to die anytime, may we remind you to judge with your keen business acumen----Have people living in China detected the tremendous crisis that China is now confronted with? And do they deal with people in a way that is seemingly to gamble with their lives, as if there were no tomorrow?

II. Do you know about the following big news?

There's no denying that without sufficient reliable information about investment in China, many foreign firms still invest in China, in view of the wave of China-bound investment fever. As a matter of fact, a lot of developing and developed countries have made greater or lesser investments in China. As stated above, a country's economic development comes from many factors. Take one simple example. The Asian stocks plummeted when SARS first broke out in Asia. Therefore, getting up-to-date news about Chinese society is critical to global investors in their business decisions for the future.

Take one more example. According to the CCP's internal sources, China uses up one-fourth of its national annual revenue for persecuting Falun Gong cultivators, in order to maintain the hatred toward Falun Gong and to cover up the facts of persecution against Falun Gong practitioners. There are currently 1.3 billion people in China. According to an official investigation before 1999, there were about 70 to 100 million Falun Gong practitioners. (This figure is not likely to be fabricated by Falun Gong practitioners. As a matter of fact, there's no roster in Falun Gong. So there's no way to calculate the exact number of Falun Gong practitioners). According to New Tang Dynasty TV, a lot of Falun Gong practitioners, either in prison or under house arrest, are under surveillance by alternating teams of a couple of people twenty four hours a day.

Numerous Falun Gong practitioners have been killed by the Chinese Communist regime, and some Falun Gong practitioners have been forced to give up their beliefs in shame in order to survive. Therefore, according to our conservative estimation, if at least half of them are still practicing Falun Gong, the number of practitioners would be fifty million. If we make a rough estimation, the Chinese Communist regime has to hire fifteen million people to monitor and persecute Falun Gong practitioners. In addition, China has spent tremendous amounts of money to develop state-of the-art technology to suppress Falun Gong. Take the "Golden Shield Project" for example. China has spent several billion U.S. dollars setting up a system called "Golden Shield Project" to monitor in the entire 1.3 billion of China's population in order to prevent the exposure of the facts about the persecution. In this context, the news from the CCP's internal sources that China takes up one-fourth of its national annual revenue into persecuting Falun Gong cultivators is quite believable.

Personally, I believe that, even though we may not be economists, we can imagine that any foreign firm in its right mind is not going to throw their money into a bottomless pit once they get this information. It's easy to conclude that such an economy is going to collapse some time soon.

In fact, a lot of foreign investors have been trapped in an abyss of loss in China due to a lack of sufficient accurate and timely information. They have no choice but to continue to stay because they have yet to recover the cost of their investment. Those capable of withdrawing from China are proceeding with it silently for fear that the Chinese authorities may notice it and stop them from going away. My third elder sister is talented in mind reading. She once said, "The rich are afraid of being known to be rich while the poor are afraid of being known to be poor."

By the same token, a plenty of companies in China are not profitable; however, they will never reveal the fact. Instead, they withdraw their capital from China quietly. Once it is known to many others, the Chinese Communist regime may take immediate action to "kill the goose that lays the golden egg." If that is the case, they may not be able to withdraw from China. After all, without doing business in China, foreign firms may need to run businesses in other countries. If the information about their failure in China spread to the outside, other companies in the field might regard it risky to do businesses with these firms fearing they might have a cash management crisis. With that, the foreign firms may really fall into a dismal abyss. Nevertheless, in ordinary media reports, you can only see the tip of the iceberg:

[4] Foreign Capital Withdraws from China's Electric Power Market One after Another
[5] Hu-Wen Concerned about the Negative Growth of Foreign Investment in China
[6] China's Media: About Half of Foreign Firms Withdraw from China
[7] About 90% of New IC Companies in China may Disappear

At present, only the NTDTV and the Epoch Times have the courage to report the facts that are critical to the investors worldwide: The Chinese Communist regime has allocated one quarter of its treasury income to the carry-out and the subsequent cover-up of the persecution against Falun Gong.

One quarter of the treasury income! This is most crucial information. Compared with other scandals, this single piece of information directly pinpoints the most outstanding vulnerability of the investment environment in China. Without such critical information, investors are very likely to continue dumping money without obtaining any return.

Furthermore, China's economy is closely tied to politics. Since the new Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Hu Jintao, just took the position not long ago, investors worldwide are paying very close attention to changes in China's political circle and the monetary flow of its treasury.

With respect to the CCP's monetary flow, NTDTV continued to track and report the corruption of high-level officials in the CCP, and how these corrupted officials would support their lifestyles after they slipped away from their posts. A series of reports by NTDTV have linked numerous individual cases to provide a big picture about the real situation. NTDTV has taken enough snapshots of China's financial situation over the years to provide the foreign investors with the actual trend of China's finances so that they can make right decisions.

More importantly, the NTDTV also provides news coverage about the political situation of the CCP, such as the increasingly sought-after book, Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party, among the people in China and the surging wave of resignations from the Party in China. NTDTV has been tracking and reporting on the self-initiated civil movement to withdraw from the CCP since December 2004. By April 4, 2005 when this article was written, 660,000 people had declared their withdrawal from the Communist Party. It is worth mentioning that almost all of the people who have made public statements to withdraw from the Communist Party were already regarded by the CCP as voluntarily withdrawn from the Party since they hadn't their party dues for years. In other words, these people declared their resignations from all of the organizations related to the CCP, such as the Communist Youth League and Early Youth Pioneer Group, purely because they wished to say to the world: "I am against the CCP."

In other words, in just four months since the initial publishing of The Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party, 660,000 people have turned down the CCP and refuse to have any connection with it. The daily head count of people withdrawing from the CCP has increased rapidly to more than ten thousand every day. Following the trend, it is very likely that the Chinese Communist regime may collapse within a year. Such news is very crucial to investors worldwide. Quite unusual is the fact that there is no news media that tracks and reports this constantly other than the NTDTV and the Epoch Times. What makes people even suspicious is why China picked the present time to threaten Eutelsat to terminate its contract with the NTDTV. What is the CCP trying to cover up? What kind of major political or economic crises is the Chinese Communist regime facing such that it resorts to all measures it can take to strangle NTDTV's satellite broadcasts? What impact will the fervor in reading the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party and the widespread movement to resign from the Communist Party cause for investors worldwide? I believe that upholding NTDTV's freedom of information is equivalent to upholding our business interests.

Since 1999, the CCP's continuous waste of the national resources in persecuting religious groups, its degeneration and corruption, and the destruction of natural environments have worsened China's internal crises prominently. There has been a widespread anti-Communist Party trend in China. The influence of such a trend on investors is becoming more and more significant.

When it comes to all the top-notch TV stations in the world, especially those in Asia, there are few TV station without programs relating to economic analysis. "Money-Orientation" has been a global trend, which makes economic analysis programs very popular. In terms of economic analysis programs, the audience is very anxious to get something directly from financial investment experts, such as the names of the shares recommended by them, where and when to do their investment, etc.

NTDTV not only keeps reporting important events in China that have much to do with foreign investor's interest, but also providing thorough analyses of global economic trends in its "Weekly Economic Review" program. It analyses and forecasts western and Chinese long-term economic trends from the macroscopic point of view, including politics, people's livelihood, economic policies, society, major events, etc., instead of pleasing audiences with claptrap on short term trading. Its economic analysis programming is unique in that NTDTV's objectives are "looking into the facts" and "serving the public." Especially today when China's politics, economy, society, people's livelihood, etc. are in a turmoil, NTDTV's "Weekly Economic Review" provides global investors with intact, far-reaching and real information about the economic situation in China. Hence, if Eutelsat is really concerned about its business interest, I sincerely suggest that Eutelsat put global customers' interest into consideration, especially Asian customers. As a result, Eutelsat's business will be more and more prosperous after renewing the contract with NTDTV.

III. NTDTV is the only media free from political affiliation

Some may think: Without NTDTV, we can still watch programs provided by the TV stations outside China, because other democratic countries have freedom of speech!

Let's analyze Chinese and western media respectively. Talking about the Chinese-language media, let's take Taiwan for an example. It is obvious that every media outlet is under the influence of a political party in Taiwan. Thus each Taiwanese media source's reports may be influenced by a different political party in Taiwan as each different party may have different political interests. For instance, the so-called pan-blue coalition is closer to the CCP, and many politicians in the pan-blue coalition have business investments in China. On the other hand, the pan-green coalition may be against the CCP, but does not want to have too open and large conflicts with the Chinese Communist regime at this stage.

As I can recall, the two hosts of a famous TV political review forum program in Taiwan, "Double Beauties in the Line of Fire," once invited a few westerners who have become celebrities in Taiwan to commentate on Taiwan's media atmosphere during the 2005 Chinese New Year vacation. An American comedian who has become a famous TV personality in Taiwan for imitating American president George Bush on Taiwan TV comedy programs was also invited. He said on the forum that even an American like him could tell which media channel sides with which political party. For example, some media may purposely report some important news in the later part of the news report than less important ones, or not report them at all!

Due to political and economic risks, even the media in a democratic country like Taiwan will refuse to report certain news regarding the CCP or significant social events taking place in China, or will report them in a manner as if these major events were insignificant. If the media in Taiwan is lukewarm about revealing the important facts about China, let alone the news media in the rest of the Asian countries that maintain diplomatic ties with China.

As to western media, though they have mandarin-speaking reporters stationed in China, due to cultural differences, it is difficult for them to really feel the pulse of China's social situation. Besides, the Chinese people who want to tell the truth cannot safely get in touch with foreign reporters due to China's stringent surveillance. In fact, as we all know that there are two kinds of occupations that are most difficult for foreigners to reach the top-notch positions. One is marketing and the other is mass media. Though some foreign reporters might break through the cultural barriers successfully, generally it is hard for the news media to be informed about the local situation without hiring local people to be their reporters.

NTDTV is indeed an independent medium, not only because of its independent funds, but also because of the fact that it does not have any political interests and it is not controlled or influenced by any political party. None of NTDTV's board of directors or key personnel have any business investment in China. Therefore, NTDTV is not restricted by any factor when it comes to reporting the truth about China. Based solely on the principle of seeking the facts, NTDTV brings facts to the audience and regards service to the public as its objective. Since its establishment in 2002, NTDTV has built on its image of "seeking the facts" and "having the guts to tell the truth," and has successfully recruited many people with lofty ideals in China to secretly report important events in China as they occur. Because of NTDTV's reputation, many people in China who want to expose information about major events in China thus have started coming to NTDTV instead of other media over the years. Through the safe channels provided by NTDTV, they ask NTDTV to reveal the truth to uphold justice. In addition to the facts that NTDTV does not have any political agenda and has the guts to tell the truth, NTDTV reporters are Chinese and speak the same language. It follows that NTDTV can really provide global investors with up-to-the-moment information about the significant events that may affect investors' interest in China.

IV. Eutelsat wants to be a hero, or sign a "Munich Pact" to strangle NTDTV's freedom of press?

In September 1938, Germany, England, France and Italy signed the notorious "Munich Pact" in Munich, a city in southern Germany. The four countries agreed to cede the Czech Sudetenland and a southern Czech territory adjacent to Austria to Germany. In return, Germany would guarantee not to invade the territory of any other European countries. Right after the Munich Pact, Germany broke its word. Finally, many countries suffered deadly attacks through World War II to end Germany's Nazi Party.

To date, people cannot but chide England, France, and Italy for signing the "Munich Pact" with Hitler when talking about this period in history. If they had not colluded with Germany, then World War II might well not have taken place.

On the contrary, if England, France and Italy had made a quick decision to immediately eliminate Nazi Germany at that time, then leaders of these countries would have become heroes in history, and people would forever revere them with the highest honors.

Similarly, if Eutelsat should choose to terminate the satellite contract with NTDTV and sign a "Munich Pact" at the expense of NTDTV's freedom of press, to give in to China's political threats and economic incentives, the action will sacrifice global investors' right to know the up-to-the-moment information that may affect their investments in China. That being the case, global investors are very likely to ask Eutelsat to take responsibility for it by then. Besides, based on the Chinese regime's lack of credibility and China's bleak economic prospects, the deal between Eutelsat and the CCP is very likely to be cancelled or become invalid in the near future.

Judging from the facts that, currently, many high-ranking Chinese officials and managers often embezzle as much as billions of dollars of cash and flee overseas, if Eutelsat terminates the contract with NTDTV, the impact on global investors will be astronomical.

[8] "High-ranking officials in a Chinese Securities Company Embezzles Company Money and Are on the Run",
[9] "Two High-ranking Officials of People's Bank of China (PBOC) Ran Away With One Billion Renminbi",
[10] "PBOC Officials Suspected of Embezzlement Escape To Canada,"
[11] "President of China Construction Bank Resigns for Suspected Corruption,"
[12] "Bank of China's Scandal Clouds Its Prospects in Stock Market,"

As a saying puts it, every debt has its debtor. Those who suffer losses may always want to seek revenge. At that time, Eutelsat will likely face lawsuits for compensation from angry investors around the world.

On the other hand, if Eutelsat chooses to protect the interests of global investors and bravely safeguard the NTDTV's freedom of the press, it might likely become the most respected satellite company and establish an ever-lasting reputation in the world.

We hope that Eutelsat can carefully study the pros and cons and see which is more worthwhile: Sign the new "Munich Pact" and disgust the world? Or protect the interests of the NTDTV and global investors' interests and win the world's respect?

We also hope our viewers will think about this question: if NTDTV, which has the courage to report first-hand important news about China, is off the air, do you think your investment in China could suffer unforeseeable loss?

[1] "Reporter Without Borders: Eutelsat To Stop Sending Signals for NTDTV Under Beijing's Pressure,"
[2] "Central News Agency (CNA): PRC's Ministry of Commerce Will Forbid "Ultra Citizen Treatment" for Foreign Investors,"
[3] "CNA: Kuo Shu-ching Says China Will Review the Policy of Supporting Export Without Limits,"
[4] "CNA: Foreign Capital Flows Out of China's Electricity Market,"
[5] "Epoch Times: Hu, Wen Concerned With Declining Foreign Investment,"
[6] "Epoch Times: China's Media Report That Nearly Half of the Foreign Capital Flows Out of China,"
[7] "CAN: 90 Percent of IC Start-up Companies in China Might Disappear,"
[8] "Free Asia Radio: High-level officials in a Securities Company in China Embezzles Company Money and Are on the Run" [8],
[9] "Broadcast Corporation of China (BCC): Two High-Level Officials of People's Bank of China (PBOC) Ran Away With One Billion Renminbi
[10] "Free Asia Radio: PBOC Officials Suspected of Embezzlement Escape To Canada,
[11] "Wall Street Journal: President of China Construction Bank Resigns for Suspected Corruption,"
[12] "Wall Street Journal: Bank of China's Scandal Clouds Its Prospect in Stock Market,

Translated from:

Add new comment