The great RTHK conspiracy

WHAT is the nature of Radio Television Hongkong (RTHK)? What direction and style has RTHK adopted? It is not difficult to determine the role of RTHK by examining its recent moves and acts: the importance of the mass media during the recent years of change in the international situation, the change in attitude of the British Government towards China and the crisis in Hongkong after the release of Governor Mr Chris Patten's reform package.

Recently, RTHK took a dangerous first step with an interview with Chinese dissident Wang Ruowang broadcast on Channels One, Two and Five.

Wang has been expelled from the Communist Party but continues his opposition to communism, the Chinese Government and the socialism in mainland China.

During the interview, Wang claimed the Chinese political system adopted a ''traditional and patriarch'' style. He attacked China's senior leader, Mr Deng Xiaoping, and his reform policy. Wang even attacked the modernisation of China and the principle of ''one country, two systems''. He stated that the prosperity of mainland China and the policy of ''Hongkong people ruling Hongkong'' were deceptions by the Chinese Government.

Wang has announced the merger of the Paris-based Federation for Democracy in China and the US-based Alliance for Democracy in China to form a united front to topple the communist government in Beijing. He was proud of his revolt against Chinese communismand proposed that anti-China forces unite to do battle and subvert the Beijing authorities.

It was unbelievable that the RTHK interviewer stated that the fate suffered by Wang ''fully represented the fate of the Chinese intellectuals in this century'' and even hoped ''the intellectuals from Wang's generation move forward to expand their influence by criticising the government as well as to take up the responsibility to work for society''. These statements were rather inflammatory.

On December 23, RTHK broadcast an incoming call from Foshan on the mainland praising and supporting the United Democrats of Hongkong (UDHK). This showed RTHK was trying to interfere in the internal as well as political affairs of China. THIS was a dangerous beginning, indicating RTHK has involved itself in the international anti-Chinese and anti-communism campaign. Being a station under the control of the Hongkong-British Government, RTHK is now following the anti-communist route of the British Government. This is a political gamble and at stake is the fortune and future of Hongkong.

One senior official from RTHK has clearly stated RTHK would not be used as a tool for ''special political propaganda purposes''. But RTHK has spent much time and effort arranging and planning such an interview to be broadcast by its station. It allowed aperson who hated Chinese communism and its political regime to announce his plan to subvert the Chinese Government through an RTHK broadcast. Was it not obvious RTHK had become a tool for ''special political propaganda purposes?'' Many commentaries have provided evidence to prove RTHK is spending the money of Hongkong taxpayers to work along an anti-China political route and support anti-communism organisations. This can be seen from the commentaries and analysis made on politicalmatters by RTHK.

Today, RTHK has openly attacked the Chinese Government and even incited the mainland people to model themselves after Wang. How can we believe RTHK is not a tool for ''special political propaganda purposes?'' RTHK even tried to make use of a call from Foshan to incite the mainland people to support the UDHK.

Early last year, one of the chairmen of the US Human Rights Federation, proposed in the House of Representatives to establish a ''freedom [radio] station''. The US Government was asked to start China's ''freedom station'' after the political changes in Eastern Europe. Some of the American legislators stated that an effective result could be obtained if a ''freedom station'' were set up for China employing exiled dissidents to courier the message to the Chinese democratic elements.

Some American legislators repeated their request to establish a ''freedom station'' aiming to propagate the idea of subverting the authorities of east Asian countries.

RTHK's interviews with Chinese dissidents and a mainland audience openly supporting and praising the UDHK matched the political route of Mr Patten's anti-China movements. So what is the difference between RTHK and the nature of a ''freedom station''? DidMr Patten have a special mission when he took the job of Governor of Hongkong? Otherwise, how can we explain the anti-China, anti-communist actions of the Government-controlled RTHK? The former prime minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, spoke in Singapore on December 17 after his Hongkong visit. He pointed out the legislation of democracy in Hongkong by the British Government was an international conspiracy. Mr Lee believed the Patten package was decided by London and that the British Government had conspired with the US to subvert China.

OF COURSE, Mr Patten and the UDHK denied this fact. But why has RTHK caused so much trouble in recent months since Mr Patten became the Governor of Hongkong? China is not like Poland, eastern Europe or the former Soviet Union; the setting up of a ''freedom station'' is impossible. If this happened, the British Government and Mr Patten should not under-estimate the consequences of the drastic damage to Hongkong.

Though some people have different opinions on the conspiracy theory, no one, except Mr Patten, dared deny the fact. Last year, Time magazine provided evidence that the political changes of eastern Europe and the disintegration of the Soviet Union were the products of an international conspiracy, while Radio Free Europe was a tool to implement this important task.

Mr Patten had said he would not like to see China break up in the fashion of the former Soviet Union. How then could he explain his Government station's inflammatory broadcast against China? This commentary originally appeared in Wen Wei Po under the penname of Tse Ying. Translation by Juliana Lor.