MANILA, Philippines – The stark red letters pop up against a blue-and-white background, spelling the words “Wow China,” as a voice reads out the phrase to the tune of a Chinese pipa playing.
These are the opening credits of a radio show broadcast on the government-run Radyo Pilipinas in collaboration with China Radio International.
The program, which has been running since 2018, sparked fresh public backlash on Monday, May 11, after internet users called out the show for airing what seemed like “pro-China propaganda” in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many internet users also slammed its timing, pointing out the irony of the program gaining traction after the government ordered a cease and desist order on ABS-CBN, the Philippines’ largest media network.
As of Monday afternoon, Wow China appeared on the Philippines’ top trends on Twitter, landing at 7th place with 6,442 tweets.
You probably saw tweets and posts about the program on your timelines, but while this may be the first time you’ve seen it, the show has been around for two years now. Here’s what you need to know