‘Wow China’ draws flak from netizens

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A program about Chinese culture aired by government radio station Radyo Pilipinas has sparked outrage for allegedly spreading pro-China propaganda. 

“Wow China,” which has been airing weekly since 2018, is a collaboration between Radyo Pilipinas and China Radio International.

In its opening spiel, the program encourages the public to get to know their Chinese brothers to establish “better relationships and friendship.” 

Its episode last Sunday was hosted by Nimfa Asuncion and Ernest Wang and featured discussions about the coronavirus and Mandarin lessons.

“Wow China” has drawn more than 16,000 angry reactions on Facebook as of yesterday, with some users accusing Filipinos behind the program of “treason.” 

Asked to comment on the negative reactions to “Wow China,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the public should just be allowed to form their views on the radio program.

“First, it’s part of the free marketplace of ideas. Let us allow our countrymen to form their own opinion about that advertisement or program. Second, it’s not a program under the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson. I would direct your queries to PCOO (Presidential Communications Operations Office) Secretary Martin Andanar,” he said at a press briefing yesterday. 

The Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS), which operates Radyo Pilipinas, said the program is a result of multiple bilateral media and communications agreements between the Philippines and China that seek to enhance cultural ties and strengthen technical capabilities in broadcast and in publishing. 

PBS said it has also worked with other countries, including Thailand and United Kingdom, and has also extended airtime to air their news, socio-cultural and tourism content.



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