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VOA Stopping Shortwave Broadcasts To China

Millions of Chinese rely on U.S. shortwave broadcasts for news and information that is not censored or filtered by the Chinese government.

Millions of Chinese rely on U.S. shortwave broadcasts for news and information that is not censored or filtered by the Chinese government.

From the Washington Times

President Obama is canceling pro U.S. shortwave radio broadcasts to China while the Chinese show no signs of cutting broadcasting to the U.S.

If Congress approves the cuts, U.S. shortwave broadcasts to China will end on October 1st, 2011.

Many critics argue that many in China rely on U.S. shortwave broadcasts for news that is unfiltered and untouched by the communist Chinese government, especially those in Tibet and western Xinjiang province.

“This is another alarming sign that America is cowering before China‘s gangster regime,” said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican and member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “The Chinese people are our greatest allies, and the free flow of information is our greatest weapon.”

The plan is a cost cutting measure to shift broadcasts to the internet, but many argue that China blocks most pro democracy internet websites and shortwave broadcasts are notoriously difficult for the Chinese government to block and censor compared to internet based sources.

“This cut will send a very wrong message to China,” said an administration official close to VOA. “By eliminating all VOA radio and TV broadcasts to China, the United States will remove one of the most important sources of unfiltered news broadcasting into China.”

During the visit of Hu Jintao, one official in the state department said that the U.S. didn’t pressure China to permit U.S. broadcasts in China for fear of the Chinese limiting U.S. academic exchange student programs.

Former Broadcast Board of Governors member Blanquita Cullum said

“When it comes to pro-democracy broadcasting to the world and with events like Egypt happening, this is not the time to retreat,” she said. “This is the time to advance and reach out with more broadcasting.”


  1. Darla Wang  April 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you for reporting this story. It seems little press has been given to this in US English language newspapers. Funny, it received front page headline news in LA Mandarin language newspapers. Losing shortwave broadcasts destroys yet another thread of freedom for the Mainland Chinese.

    • Editor  October 11, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      Hi Darla

      Sorry it took so long to reply to your excellent comment. As if there weren’t enough censorship and and government interference in the press in China and around the world. This is a major setback. Another loss for the people.

      A huge mistake by the VOA in dropping these broadcasts and the Chinese people suffer as a result. I assume one of the reasons the VOA stopped the broadcasts is because of the prolific jamming of signals by the Chinese government.


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