CHINA / SOCIETY
RTHK to halt controversial radio show on mainland affairs; decision welcomed by pro-establishment groups
Published: Jul 12, 2021 09:58 PM
Aerial photo taken on March 6, 2021 shows citizens displaying China's national flag and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in support of implementing the principle of patriots administering Hong Kong at Tamar Park in Hong Kong, south China.Photo:Xinhua

Aerial photo taken on March 6, 2021 shows citizens displaying China's national flag and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in support of implementing the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" at Tamar Park in Hong Kong, south China.Photo:Xinhua



Hong Kong's broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) said that it will halt a controversial radio show called China on the Dot from July 23. The show has been repeatedly criticized by pro-establishment groups of smearing the Chinese mainland. 

RTHK confirmed to the Global Times via email on Monday that it will replace China on the Dot with a program on the Tokyo Olympics, starting July 23, in order to "follow the latest Olympic news around the clock for listeners."

When asked about the reason for the suspension of China on the Dot, RTHK declined to offer an explanation. However, it is widely speculated that it may be related to the large number of complaints the program has received for inappropriate content.

China on the Dot is one of RTHK's best-known radio shows, and it has been airing Monday through Friday from 1 to 3 pm for more than a decade. With the slogan "Knowing China Better," the show features guests talking about current affairs and livelihood issues in the mainland. The hosts include commentator Johnny Lau Yui-siu.

In recent years, the program has drawn repeated complaints from pro-establishment groups. Since July 2020, pro-establishment group "China Heritage" has repeatedly complained to the Communications Authority that the show misleads listeners and damages China's image. The group has said that the show might have violated the national security law for Hong Kong, and that it is suspected of creating public panic and disseminating inaccurate information, disturbing relations between Hong Kong and the mainland using "disturbing and outrageous words."

A spokesperson for the group China Heritage told the Global Times on Monday that it is "convinced that the suspension of the show is related to the group's complaints."

According to the information provided by the secretary of China Heritage, although the Communications Authority has not directly penalized RTHK over the matter, it has responded to the group's complaints on several occasions and informed RTHK of the matter. The Communications Authority has also referred complaints involving national security allegations to the Hong Kong Police Force.

"RTHK's decision to suspend China on the Dot is very welcome," the secretary of China Heritage, surnamed Cheung, told the Global Times. 

Show host Wong Kwan-yu told local media outlet HK01 that it was a pity that the show will be pulled, but he believed that RTHK will lay more stress on national and state awareness in its programs in the future. 


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