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World: U.S. Condemns Chinese Radio Jamming

  • Sonia Winter

Washington, 22 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - The U.S. State Department has condemned Chinese jamming of some American radio broadcasts in the Mandarin language.

State Department spokesman James Rubin said yesterday that the Washington-based Radio Free Asia, the station being jammed, follows professional journalistic standards and does not broadcast propaganda.

He said Chinese Government attempts to block its programs goes against basic human rights and the interests of people needing information.

Rubin said the U.S. rejects criticism that international media interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.

He said the United States opposes jamming of international radio broadcasts by any country as an infringement of press freedom and the free flow of information which are part of internationally recognized human rights to free speech and free expression.

Radio Free Asia, an American station funded by the U.S. Congress, began operations last year with broadcasts to China, expanding later to Burma, North Korea, Vietnam and Laos. It also broadcasts to Tibet and plans to begin airing programs to Cambodia later this year.

The U.S government station, Voice of America, has broadcast to China for many years and been jammed several times in the past.

Rubin said the U.S. has always protested such action to Chinese authorities. He said that despite the jamming, letters and telephone calls from listeners show that RFA and VOA broadcasts are getting through.