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Another foreign radio station falls victim to "Great Wall of the airwaves"

(RSF/IFEX) - Reacting to the recently-begun jamming of Sound of Hope Radio Network, like Radio Free Asia and Voice of America before it, RSF has condemned China's latest advance in the construction of a "Great Wall of the airwaves."

"Beijing is stepping up its control of both the airwaves and the Internet," the organisation said. "Chinese radio listeners and Internet users only have a right to news and information controlled by the government."

Based in San Francisco, Sound of Hope broadcasts four hours a day of news and cultural programmes to China from transmitters outside the country. Significant jamming has been noted in many Chinese cities including Dalian, Fuzhou and Xinjiang since June. At the behest of the National Security Bureau, Public Security Bureau and General Military Intelligence Sector II, its programmes are being drowned out by music or by the broadcasts of China's Central Radio Station. At best, listeners can catch the odd phrase. At worst, Sound of Hope can no longer be heard at all.

Similar jamming was reported last October by the Voice of Tibet (based in Norway), the BBC World Service, Voice of America and Radio Free Asia. Thanks to transmitters, antennae and other equipment supplied by the French company Thalès, the government has been able to improve its jamming capabilities and can now effectively block short-wave broadcasts by foreign radio stations based in Europe and Central Asia.

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