For almost 70 years, Voice of America has been broadcasting uncensored news and the spirit of democracy into China, a nation suffering under a brutal, totalitarian regime. Now, the Obama Administration has put VOA’s Mandarin Service on the chopping block. If the plan goes through, VOA will no longer broadcast TV or radio into China, beginning October 1. The excuse given is budget cuts, and yet according to sources inside VOA, eliminating VOA’s Mandarin Service will not save any taxpayer money. Rather, the money that would have gone to the Mandarin services will simply go to other VOA services.
If it’s not saving money, why cut the Mandarin services? Is it a coincidence that this proposed cut follows closely on the heels of the U.S. visit of President Hu Jintao? According to a Washington Times article, China is ready to launch 60 U.S. affiliates – to broadcast communist propaganda across our land. Why is DC kowtowing to Beijing, just as Beijing is ramping up its propaganda machine in the West?
I believe that the VOA Mandarin Service has been singled out for the chopping block precisely because of its effectiveness it has been the leading international broadcaster into China for nearly 70 years and has an enormous following inside China. VOA has become an aching thorn in the side of the Chinese Communist Party by exposing, for example, the persecution of human rights lawyers and the use of forced abortion to enforce China’s hated One Child Policy. My interview about China’s One Child Policy on VOA’s Mandarin Service generated an ardent and wide-ranging discussion, in which people from all over China called in to comment and discuss. The interview gave Chinese citizens a national forum in which to debate passionately held beliefs, an opportunity they otherwise would not have had, but for VOA.
The VOA Mandarin Service plays an absolutely critical and unique role in getting the truth into China, giving Chinese citizens access to information they otherwise would not have because of information blackouts within China. The BBC has also just announced that it is cutting out its Mandarin services. Where will the Chinese people get news they can trust? How will the voice of democracy be heard by those languishing under the steel fist of totalitarianism? We must stand up and fight against this attempt to silence the voice of democracy and freedom in China! Please vote in the Washington Times Poll to keep VOA Mandarin Services:
Washington Times: VOA Radio Broadcasts into China Signing Off, While Beijing Boosts Propaganda