Monitors listening to VOA broadcasts say this interference “appears intentional,” and is strongest in regions around Tibet and along the Indian border.
“The Chinese government has for years jammed VOA and Radio Free Asia Chinese and Tibetan language programs and blocked VOA vernacular language websites,” said VOA Director David Ensor, “but English language programs have historically not been blocked.”
“We condemn this interference and are working with worldwide experts to determine the precise origin of the jamming,” Ensor says. “The free flow of information is a universal right and VOA will continue to provide accurate and balanced information on platforms that can reach audiences in areas subject to censorship.”
Monitors say the interference affects about 75% of the English language transmissions to China and is similar to the type of jamming aimed at VOA Horn of Africa broadcasts, which are targeted by equipment installed by China in Ethiopia.
Reports of jamming on the VOA shortwave frequencies to China began pouring in earlier this week. On Monday the BBC issued a statement saying that its English language programs to China were also being jammed. The BBC statement said the source of the interference could not be determined, but the “extensive and coordinated efforts are indicative of a well-resourced country such as China.”
VOA broadcasts to China on radio, direct-to-home satellite Radio and TV, and the Internet. News and information is also transmitted on a variety of platforms designed to overcome censorship efforts.