RFA in the News (August 2008)



Aug. 29 “China reports two policemen killed in latest Xinjiang unrest”

Two policemen were killed and five others injured in China's restive Xinjiang region, authorities said Friday, bringing the reported death toll from a wave of violence there this month to 33. Assailants stabbed the police officers late on Wednesday night in a town close to Kashgar, a city in the far west of Xinjiang where the deadliest of this

month's attacks took place. … US-funded Radio Free Asia reported the police were ambushed while searching the cornfield following a tip that a woman suspected of helping assailants in an earlier attack was hiding there. "We didn't expect to come under attack in that cornfield," Radio Free Asia quoted a local policeman named Omerjan as saying.


August 27, 2008 N. Korea halts nuclear reactor disablement

North Korea yesterday announced that it has suspended its nuclear facilities disablement process, in protest against the United States' delay in removing Pyongyang from its list of state sponsors of terrorism….Radio Free Asia from Washington reported that, during a visit to China earlier this month, Sung Kim, the U.S. special presidential envoy and deputy chief negotiator in the North Korean nuclear matter, was presented with a modified version of a verification mechanism.

China daily.com republished May Wall Street Journal RFA story under their “biased reports” section

Tibet reports by US-funded radio anger China By Nicholas Zamiska, Geoffrey A. Fowler (wsj) Updated: 2008-05-22

HONG KONG—The earliest reports of unrest in Tibet last month didn't come from a major newspaper, wire service or TV station. They came from a US-funded shortwave radio broadcaster that advises listeners to get around Chinese signal jamming with tinfoil, plywood and rubber bands. With a current annual budget of $34 million from Congress, Washington-based Radio Free Asia broadcasts news about Asia across the region in nine languages, including Mandarin, Tibetan and Uyghur, a Turkic language used in China's Xinjiang autonomous region.


Aug. 13 “Jill’s silent treatment”

The latest glaring example of Chinese censorship during the Games has been the lack of accreditation for the Tibetan radio reporter for the Washington- based Radio Free Asia. His colleague Jill Ku Martin from their Mandarin service, who bravely highlighted his absence from the Games at the daily IOC/Beijing organising committee briefing, was even convinced her question requests were purposely avoided.


August 13, 2008 Tanks darken the grey atmosphere

BYLINE: Jacquelin Magnay in Beijing

……………….At yesterday's press conference, Jill Ku Martin, of Radio Free Asia, a non-profit broadcast service sponsored by the US Congress, demanded to know why her Tibetan colleague Dhondup Dansar had approval from the IOC to cover the Games but was barred from China by its Foreign Ministry. The IOC and Beijing organisers had vowed the accreditation card would guarantee entry to the Games as it doubled as a Chinese visa.


Aug. 7 “No visa for American broadcaster to cover Olympics”

US-based Radio Free Asia (RFA) said Thursday one of its broadcasters had not been issued an entry visa to cover the Olympic Games. Just 24 hours before the games opening, RFA said it had not received an entry permit for Tibetan service broadcaster Dhondup Gonsar, a US citizen, and called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to press China to honor its pledge to hold the event in an atmosphere of openness.


Aug. 2 “China's Leader Meets the Press, but Only on His Country's Very Narrow Terms”

President Hu Jintao held a press conference on Friday with foreign reporters, starting the one-week countdown to the opening ceremony of the Olympics here. This, in itself, was news. Mr. Hu has had fleeting interactions with the foreign press when he travels abroad, but has not held a press conference in Beijing in the nearly six years he has served as China's top leader. Mr. Hu did not commit any news…But this week brought the messy revelation inside the Olympic island that China was blocking some sites about Tibet, the banned Falun Gong spiritual sect and Taiwan, as well as Web pages for Amnesty International, Radio Free Asia and other groups.


Aug. 2 “Cracks begin to appear in the Great Firewall - but much is still standing”

Most people take for granted that a simple click of a mouse can transport you to almost every corner of cyberspace. Not so in China. At least, not until pressure from the International Olympic Committee forced censors to open up a crevice yesterday in the "Great Firewall" that blocks many websites…Some comfort lay in newfound access to Radio Free Asia, where pieces about Tibet were written in English, Chinese and even Tibetan.