Italian TV hits Chinese screens

Italian company Giglio TV has struck a deal with China International Broadcasting Network (CIBN), which will bring Italian programmes to Chinese television for the first time.

Italian TV hits Chinese screens
The TV deal was unveiled at the Italian embassy in Beijing. Photos: (L) Gustavo Devito/Flickr and (R) Philip J├Ągenstedt

The initiative was launched at the Italian embassy in Beijing and aims to “promote Italy and its culture in the country”, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Gilgio TV owns a number of channels in Italy, including live! which broadcasts music events and the Nautical Channel.

Ambassador Alberto Bradanini said the move had “strategic and cultural” value.

The programming available to Chinese viewers will include everything from fashion to food, cinema and documentaries, Bradanini said.

“This will become an effective platform to spread our culture and interest in our country,” he added.

The deal reflects the growing relationship between the two countries, as a number of Chinese people take up residency in Italy.

There are currently 304,768 Chinese people listed as legal residents in Italy, according to the national statistics agency Istat. The Chinese are the third largest non-EU population in Italy, behind Morocco and Albania.

Earlier this month Istat also announced that trade to China is on the rise, jumping by 23.4 percent over a year to July 2013.

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China derides Copenhagen democracy meet as ‘political farce’

China on Tuesday blasted a democracy conference in Copenhagen attended by Taiwan's president and a Hong Kong activist alongside Danish government officials this week, qualifying it a "political farce".

China derides Copenhagen democracy meet as 'political farce'
Demonstrators gathered outside the Copenhagen Democracy Summit on Tuesday. Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

The Copenhagen Democracy Summit was held Monday and Tuesday in the Danish capital and organised by the Alliance of Democracies, an organisation targeted by Beijing sanctions in March and founded by former NATO boss Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

In addition to Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law, Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod also participated in the forum by video link, which Beijing said violated “the one-China principle.”

“This summit is a political farce,” the Chinese embassy in Denmark wrote in a statement published on Tuesday. “Inviting those who advocate Taiwan and Hong Kong ‘independence’ to the meeting violates the one-China principle and interferes in China’s internal affairs,” it said.

“Some hypocritical western politicians are good at meddling in other countries’ internal affairs and creating divisions and confrontation in the name of ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’. They are bound to fail,” it added.

At the conference on Monday, Kofod said it was “deplorable” that Beijing had imposed sanctions on 10 European individuals and organisations in response to EU sanctions on Xinjiang officials over their actions against the Uyghur Muslim minority.

Like most countries, Denmark applies the one-China principle — under which Beijing bars other countries from having simultaneous diplomatic relations with Taipei — though it does maintain relations with Taiwan.

Cut off politically from the rest of China since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the territory is self-governing but is not recognised by
the United Nations.

Beijing considers Taiwan a rebel province that will one day return under its control, by force if necessary.

China’s sabre-rattling has increased considerably over the past year, with fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers breaching Taiwan’s air defence zone on a near-daily basis.

“Our government is fully aware of the threats to regional security, and is actively enhancing our national defence capabilities to protect our
democracy,” Tsai told the conference in a video address on Monday. US President Joe Biden is expected to present his China strategy soon, as
calls mount for him to publicly commit to defending Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese attack.