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Chinese TV station plans gala banquet in Flushing

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A local Chinese television station that prides itself on being independent from the Chinese government is planning a Moon Festival banquet at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in downtown Flushing.

New Tang Dynasty Television, based in Midtown Manhattan, will hold performances of traditional Chinese singing, dancing and opera at the hotel on Sept. 10. The Moon Festival celebrates the coming of autumn.

The event will pay tribute to those lost in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Two Chinese Americans who escaped from the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 are expected to speak at the banquet.

"The Chinese community here in New York City has really gone through difficult times from 9/11 to SARS," said NTDTV Director of Development Carrie Hung.

The station, a non-profit organization, was founded in December 2001 and began broadcasting in February 2002. It is available via satellite and also appears on public access stations in the metropolitan area.

The channel aims to become the "Chinese PBS." It offers programs teaching English, children's shows, news, documentaries on Chinese culture and movies.

Many Chinese-American newspapers and television stations have ties to China's communist government and their reports often reflect the country's party line.

Most segments of NTDTV, however, are produced in the United States and the organization has no connections to the Chinese government, its members said.

"We pride ourselves on our objective and unbiased reporting," said Anna Chang, the station's vice president of marketing and sales.

In particular, the news bureau of the station often presents the views of practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual movement that is outlawed in China.

The station also has a program on the culture of Taiwan, the island nation off the coast of China that China has labeled a renegade province and not a separate country.

The main focus of the station, however, is to help Chinese immigrants understand American culture, Hung said.

"The mission of our station is to bridge the gaps between the West and the East," Hung said. "We are here to help the Chinese assimilate into the mainstream society and learn more about American values.

NTDTV officials presented their plans for the Moon Festival at a news conference at the Sheraton last Thursday.

"I get calls daily from different media organizations," said Christopher Ficalora, general manager of the Sheraton. "One of the things that stood out about NTDTV was the commitment I saw in both Carrie [Hung] and the team she brought with her."

The banquet will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 at the Sheraton, located at 135-20 39th Ave.

The TimesLedger is one of the sponsors of the event.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 141.

Posted 7:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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