Shortwave listeners are not as numerous as Web users, “but those who are limited to shortwave still represent millions of highly motivated information seekers,” the official said.
In Xinjiang, the government shut off Internet and cell-phone links during and after the protests from July 2009 to April 2010.
“Throughout China, Beijing puts millions of dollars into jamming shortwave signals to keep stories about a dissident talking about nonviolent dissent, the Dalai Lama discussing the real situation in Tibet or growing protests throughout China by those who have been displaced by government malfeasance,” the official said.
VOA broadcasts to China began in 1942. The change will affect more than 90 hours of radio and television programs in Chinese every week through a dozen radio and television affiliates in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Last year, China’s state-controlled news agency Xinhua began an English-language television service operating 24 hours as part of what officials say is an effort to expand the communist government’s media influence abroad.
“China has appropriated $7 billion on international propaganda in the past two years,” said the first official who is close to VOA. “In 2011, CCTV [state television] North America in Washington, D.C., plans to increase its reporters from 12 to 20 people. Meanwhile, VOA Chinese staff will be cut over 50 percent.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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