RTHK plans to set up a Putonghua radio channel early next year, according to Director of Broadcasting Cheung Man-yee. Ms Cheung said the service was needed to cope with the increasing population of Mandarin speakers. 'There are more and more people using Putonghua as their working language. I think honourable members will support our plan if they watched our television programme last night on how legislators used Putonghua when visiting Taiwan for the election,' she said. She said RTHK was trying to overcome the technical difficulties of using the only remaining frequency in Hong Kong for the new service. Ms Cheung said the new channel, which will provide 16 hours of programming daily, would be set up through redeployment of existing resources. The quality of existing RTHK programmes would not be affected, she said. At present the government-run radio station provides four hours of Putonghua programming every day.