China Calling

“I enjoy listening to different voices on your station. China has a repressive system that brings people up in a way that is not quite normal. Here in the city of Xining, for example, if you speak up against a city-sponsored sports event you would be branded a ‘counter-revolutionary,’ not just by the authorities but also by the people. I know that in the West people can express themselves freely and speak to journalists whenever they want. I envy them. Your radio station allows people to express their views. It’s wonderful. You have transformed me. I think that’s your biggest accomplishment.”
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Listener comment:

“We were told that none of the student protesters were killed at Tiananmen and that it was the People’s Liberation Army that sustained fatalities. Not even a three-year-old would buy that. So there were clashes. And only the troops sustained fatalities? It’s common sense that some students must also have been killed. My own logical conclusion is that the students must also have sustained fatalities. The troops were armed with machine guns. When they started shooting with machine guns, they must have killed some student protesters; when the tanks rolled in, they must have killed some student protesters. I was serving in the military at the time. Amongst the troops nobody dared to talk about what had happened–except that we must insist on following the thoughts of Mao Zedong and the theory of Deng Xiaoping. People now talk about re-evaluating history. You cannot count on the Chinese Communist Party to write history. It is my wish that the Communist Party will soon cease to be the ruling party. Only then can the souls of those who perished for Tiananmen rest in peace. They were patriots. For the democratization of China, they paid the ultimate price.”

Mr. Li from Hebei:

"I was 17 when Tiananmen occurred. What infuriated me was that after the crackdown Chinese media labeled what was in essence an anti-corruption democracy movement as a counter-revolutionary rebellion. Those who lived Tiananmen will never forget it. It was history written in blood… No Chinese should ever forget what happened. Every year around this time I would talk to my family and my closest friends about Tiananmen. I would tell them what happened. The Chinese government is intentionally controlling the flow of information. Unless we transmit this part of history orally future generations would be totally ignorant of it. And that would be a tragedy."

Mr. Tong, 58, a worker from Shaanxi:

"I participated in the Tiananmen movement. When the killing took place in Beijing I was in Baoji, Shaanxi province. I was a worker but I took part in local student protests. I was 38 at the time. After the crackdown in Beijing, there were protests in Baoji. And I took part in them also. The rallies were attended by a couple of thousand people. Tiananmen started with the passing of Hu Yaobang. I believe Hu Yaobang was a good person–a good Communist cadre. To this day if you want to join the Party you must declare your stance on two issues: 1. Tiananmen; 2. Falun Gong. So don't harbor any illusions that Hu Jintao would reverse the Party's verdict on Tiananmen and confess to the crime it committed against the people."

Mr. Wang from Zhejiang:

"I am a blind person. Today is June 2. Another 24 hours it will be the 20th anniversary of the crackdown when gunfire blazed. Nowadays people talk about 're-evaluating' Tiananmen. The Tiananmen democracy movement doesn't need to be 're-evaluated' because it didn't commit any errors. The more appropriate term would be 'to see justice done.' The unspeakable crime was committed by the government, not the students. I see no indications that the Chinese Communist Party is loosening its grip. I heard on RFA [late Party secretary] Zhao Ziyang's recording. The signal wasn't so good but I could tell it was his voice. I remember his voice. Twenty years ago he appeared on state media often. The recording I heard on RFA really is his voice. He spoke at a measured pace. He leaned toward the students and democratic reform."

Mr. Zhang from Hubei

Mr. Kong from Shandong:

"As the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown nears, I cannot get out of my mind an expression. It has haunted me for a while. The expression is: 'We are just meat on someone’s chopping block.' Who did the chopping? It was comrade Deng Xiaoping. He wielded the knife. Who was the meat that was chopped? The students, of course. The ancient Chinese taught us to respect the elderly as if they were our own parents and to love the young as if they were our own children. Deng Pufang, son of Deng Xiaoping, became paralyzed after he jumped off a building during the Cultural Revolution. Comrade Deng Xiaoping was said to be deeply saddened by his son’s ordeal. But 20 years ago, from late night June 3 to the early morning of June 4, Deng Xiaoping used the troops to kill other people’s children. Did he forget what had happened to his son Deng Pufang? It should not have happened that way. I say this to the Chinese Communist Party: Those who supported the Tiananmen movement harbored no ill intentions, and they should not have been treated as if they were criminals."

Listener from Hebei:

“We thank the U.S. Congress for setting up Radio Free Asia. It provides us with the timely, objective, and accurate news that we can never get inside China … After listening to RFA, I learned the truth about the Korean War and about the personality of Kim Il Sung and his son.”

Listener from Shanghai:

“I’m a long-time listener but seldom contacted RFA. I couldn’t provide my real mailing address because I was afraid of being caught by the authorities … I think a lot of listeners have the same problem.”

Listener from Jiangxi:

“I’m deeply moved at getting the 10-year anniversary watch from RFA, because I had different thoughts about RFA when I wrote to you in my letter. At that time, I said that it is not right that RFA ‘supports dissidents who only want to split China,’ that China is a developing country, and that a few corrupt officials cannot stop the country’s reform. This makes me understand the true meaning of ‘freedom of speech.’ I am so impressed.”

Listener from Guangdong:

“On behalf of some retired senior citizens, thank you for helping them appeal their case. They were deeply moved, with tears running down their faces, when they heard your programs. They said that Radio Free Asia really provides a voice for ordinary people.”

Fax from Shenzhen:

“I am an enthusiastic listener of RFA. Your programs are a great help in enhancing the consciousness of the Chinese people. Now, more and more people listen to your programs. I am sure that China will become a democratic country in the next ten years.”

Letter from Jiangsu:

“I am a college student. In China, our right to ‘freedom of speech’ has been deprived. Listener Hotline provides a chance for people to express their feelings, their real thoughts, and different ideas.”

Letter from Zhejiang:

“I am a high school student and have been listening to your programs for over two years. I often listen to your programs at night. Before, I believed in what is called ‘democracy’ in China. Now, my eyes are more open, and I feel like I was fooled by the Chinese Communist Party.”

E-mail from a listener:

“RFA should broadcast accurate news and be fair to the Chinese government.”

Letter from Gansu:

“RFA has broadened my horizons. It’s difficult to listen to your programs because of the jamming, but I still keep trying.”

On the election of Barack Obama as 44th U.S. president

A black candidate's being elected U.S. president shows that the U.S. has a good system that is working. The "One Party Rule" Chinese Communist Party dictatorship should learn from the U.S. -- Caller from Guangdong province to "Listener Hotline", Nov. 6, 2008.

Obama's victory in the U.S. presidential election is exciting news for all. As a Chinese, whoever gets elected is not that important, but, unlike what is being portrayed in China, Obama's being elected shows that American society is really a harmonious one, and that democracy truly guarantees everyone's freedom and rights. -- Caller from Liaoning province to "Listener Hotline", Nov. 6, 2008.

Today is a day worth celebrating. The American people once again cast their votes and elected their President. I cheer and pray for the United States. The U.S. will certainly walk out of the economic downturn. The American democratic system is a hope and a motivator to the Chinese people. The universal value of democracy, liberty and human rights also apply to China.  American people and government help the Chinese people a great deal. Radio Free Asia and Voice of America had tremendous effects on the awakening of the Chinese people. We must strive to fasten the steps towards democracy, liberty and human rights, bid farewell to the lying, barbaric and violent authoritarian system. -- caller surnamed Zhang from Shanghai to "Voices of the People", Nov. 5, 2008

The election of Obama as the president is a correct choice for the U.S. The U.S. needs a reformer to lead her out the difficulties and Obama has the qualities of a reformer. The U.S. is an affluent and democratic country. Generation after generation, American people built this country by their hard work and sacrifice, not the charity of others. Forty years ago, Martin Luther King sacrificed his own life to win the integration of black people into American society. He also made a great contribution towards the election of Obama as the president. -- caller surnamed Zhang from Hebei to "Voices of the People", Nov. 5, 2008.

The significance of the "Obama syndrome" is immeasurable. Obama would have never succeeded in China. He most likely would have become a tragedy. Why can Obama succeed in the U.S.? Because there is the soil for him to succeed. It's a shame that all the speeches by Obama can not be heard in China. He said it himself in his speech. Only America can allow him to fulfill his dream. When President Hu visited Japan, a little kid asked him, "how did you become the leader of the country?" That's right. How did he become the leader? The great meaning of Obama being the American president is definitely not going to be recognized by the Chinese authority. But it will more and more be reflected upon by the Chinese people. They will recognize the greatness and the progress of the U.S. -- caller surnamed Lu from Guangxi to "Voice of the People", Nov. 5, 2008.

I warmly congratulate the election of Obama as the next American President and wish the friendship of China and the U.S. last for centuries to come. I firmly believe: America's today is China's tomorrow.  -- caller surnamed Pang from Guangxi to "Voices of the People", Nov. 5, 2008.

Tainted Milk in China

“It’s been going on for quite some time now. First there was contaminated toothpaste, then there were poisonous dumplings, and now we have poisonous milk powder. We the common people can no longer tell what’s safe for consumption. The grand, the glorious, and the always-correct Chinese Communist Party still claims to be a government for the people. Has it no shame? Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao both have skins thicker than the Great Wall of China. Have they no shame? Had these scandals happened in a democratic country, their presidents and premiers would probably have been kicked out of office. Under the dictatorship that is China, not only are Hu and Wen secure in their jobs, they are not even red in the face. The real problem is: They were not elected by the people.”—Shanghai listener Mr. Lin, on RFA’s “Listener Hotline,” Sept. 22, 2008

“Poisonous milk powder has endangered the health of many babies. The incident illustrates that Chinese officials do not serve the people. They may say they want to serve the people, but in reality they function without the supervision of public opinion and a free press. They say what their supervisors want to hear; they don’t give a hoot about the health and well-being of the public. Let’s think about it. Why is it that the milk provided to foreign visitors during the Olympic Games wasn’t contaminated? Why is it that the milk consumed by the Chinese people was contaminated? Because the milk consumed by foreign visitors underwent stringent quality control—and this wasn’t the case with domestically consumed milk. Chinese officials aren’t motivated by the desire to serve the people because they aren’t elected by the people. During the Olympic Games, even an ant that desired to travel to Beijing couldn’t escape strict control. Why is it that such control wasn’t applied to food safety?”
—Liaoning listener, on RFA’s “Listener Hotline,” Sept. 22, 2008

Beijing Olympics

“I heard Miss Gu Jirou’s reports from Beijing. Very interesting. They would not give her the microphone at the press conference. She asked why only one RFA reporter was allowed in when the IOC had promised credentials for two. But they wouldn’t even give her the microphone. What were they thinking? It’s just laughable. And I cannot figure out how a little girl’s uneven teeth could be so bad for China’s ‘national interest’ that they put someone else on the stage to just move her mouth. The whole world was fooled. Even if the little girl was not cute by their standards, how in the world could she possibly harm China’s national interest? I just don’t get it.”—Shaanxi man on “Listener Hotline,” Aug. 20, 2008

"Thanks to the enormous international pressure, the Chinese Communist Party unblocked a number of foreign-based Chinese-language Web sites. It is now convenient for me to access the Chinese-language Web sites of Radio Free Asia and Voice of America. I can now access your Web site directly without using a proxy server. But Falun Gong Web sites, such as that of New Tang Dynasty TV, are still blocked. Those RFA listeners who used to access RFA’s Web site via proxy servers such as Garden or Freegate should take advantage of this opportunity and download RFA programming. Let us not forget that it was due to the enormous pressure from the IOC that the Chinese government unblocked some Web sites. The Chinese government can easily block them again, anytime. I believe that when the Olympic Games are over it will be difficult to access these Web sites again. In China, human rights are not part of the inalienable rights people are born with; they are bestowed upon us by the Party.”—Hubei caller on “Listener Hotline,” Aug. 19, 2008

“I am a migrant worker in Chengdu. I returned to my hometown in rural Sichuan after the quake hit to see if my house is O.K. I will not join the chorus in singing the government’s praises. My own observation is that the relief work was not carried out that effectively. There was a delay. They failed to launch a large-scale rescue operation during the most critical stage—that is, during the first 72 hours. The initial operation targeted only areas hardest hit. Secondly, the Central Propaganda Department instructed Sichuan propaganda officials to see to it that news reports boosted the morale of the people and emphasized the rescue efforts by government officials and PLA soldiers. From the death toll—more than 60,000 so far—we know that this was a devastating earthquake. But what we saw on TV didn’t reflect the magnitude of the devastation. Moreover, we know that many schools had collapsed in the quake but that many government buildings, although damaged, are still standing. There must be an investigation into this.”—Sichuan man on “Listener Hotline,” May 30, 2008

“I mourn the death of all those who perished in the May 12 quake, especially the little children. I am haunted by the images of the dead that I saw on the Internet. My heart aches over the devastation in the quake zone. My heart aches for the innocent lives lost. My heart aches for the disaster that has befallen the Chinese nation. My heart aches especially for the children who were crushed to death by fallen school buildings. Did they die from a natural disaster, or did they die from a manmade disaster? More and more people are now pondering this question…”—Shandong woman on “Listener Hotline,” May 30, 2008

“A lot of money has been donated to help the victims of the earthquake. People gave out of compassion. The question is, will how the money is spent be made public? I am very concerned about that. The international community has also donated a lot of relief material and money. But there is no full accounting for how all the relief material and foreign donations have been used. Because there is a lot of corruption, anything is possible. Take ‘Project Hope’ for instance. A lot of money was raised during all those years and yet our schools are still in such a bad shape. That’s because a lot of the money was embezzled. Unless there is transparency and accountability, corruption will continue to be a problem. We gave generously because we felt compassion for the victims of the quake, but will our compassion really benefit the victims?”—Chengdu man on Mandarin service "Listener Hotline," May 29, 2008

“In the quake, school buildings collapsed one after another, and classrooms fell to the ground. But few government office buildings collapsed…We see on television that the collapsed buildings were not built with reinforced steel bars. They now say nothing is more precious than human lives. But did the thought cross their minds when they were building those schools? The news reports keep saying that this was a natural disaster and not a manmade disaster. Was it?”—Jiangsu man, on RFA-Mandarin Listener Hotline program, May 27, 2008

“I would like to thank Radio Free Asia for its coverage of the earthquake.  RFA has covered the quake from the front line in the quake zone in real time. Your coverage enabled us to understand the situation from a different perspective. I speak on behalf of more than 20 of my friends.  We deeply appreciate your effort, and we salute you.”
—Shanghai man on RFA-Mandarin Listener Hotline program, May 28, 2008

Following is an excerpted call to RFA’s Listener Hotline program on May 28, 2008, from a Heilongjiang man:
Caller: “Can you tell me if Chinese domestic media coverage of the earthquake has been objective and accurate by international standards?”
Host: “Compared to the coverage of the quake in 1976, yes.”
Caller:  “That goes without saying.  But is the current death toll accurate?”
Host: “It’s still too early to say. I think at this stage the figure they are citing is still just an estimate. When a catastrophe like this happens—not just in China but in any country—it’s hard to have an accurate death toll so soon. The figure may not be available until after a certain period of time.”
Caller: “During the three days of national mourning, all local TV channels stopped airing regularly scheduled programming and switched to CCTV. Would something like this happen in other countries?”
Host: “In the United States media outlets are private enterprises. When there is a major event, they would cover it, but they don’t switch to centralized programming.  Nor would a magazine be banned because it featured scantily clad models posing in rubble or because it failed to use a black border on the cover…As for the relative openness we are witnessing in the Chinese media, the real question is, will it continue…?”
Caller: “I don’t think so.”

“Dear staffers of RFA: I am a college student from China. I am fond of the programs of your broadcast, and I have listened a long time to the channel on air. But today when I went through the homepage of your Web site in English, I felt unease. In your homepage, the picture titled ‘Travel with the Olympic torch in China’ showed Taiwan and the mainland in a different color, [which] may mislead many people. Taiwan is part of China, no matter [whether] you admit it or not. Though people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits have different thinking about the meaning of China, the fact that the world has only one China didn't change. Or you may say the Olympic Torch won't go to Taiwan, so in the picture you used a different color. I think even if the Olympic Torch didn't go to Taiwan, you should not use a different color. Because both people from the mainland and from Taiwan also welcome the Olympic Torch going to Taiwan. At last, I still thank you, thanks for your dedication to transmit the democracy and freedom information that you could not hear in the China mainland to the Chinese people. Yours sincerely, The listener of RFA.”—Submitted May 7, 2008


RFA listeners on the April 20, 2007, summit between Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President George Bush:

"We, a group of Shanghai citizens, have written a letter to President Bush:

To the Honorable President Bush:

Sir, how are you? We represent people at the grass-roots level in China. We respectfully ask for your help because our voices cannot be heard. We know we speak on behalf of the majority of the people in China. Please relay our views to president Hu Jintao when you meet with him. We thirst for democratic progress in China. We believe what China needs more than anything else is the rule of law. The new leaders of China have accomplished certain things. They have certainly been shouting slogans and making promises. But they have not tried to address the root cause of China's problems -- i.e., they have not embarked on the road to democracy and the rule of law. Corruption is rampant. There is corrupt collusion between officialdom and the business sector. The masses are deeply plagued by these problems and yet there are no channels through which they can air their grievances. The healthy development of China is contingent upon legal reform. There already exist in China all sorts of laws about democracy and the rule of law. The question we should ask is: do Chinese leaders want to implement those laws in order to lead the country towards democracy? Chinese leaders talk about governing for the people. If that is true, they should waste no time in instituting the rule of law. We strongly urge president Hu Jintao to renounce the CCP's authoritarian rule of China. We have three requests:

Nov. 11, 2005: Chinese President Hu Jintao. Photo: AFP/John MacDougall
Mr. Bush, China needs the help of the international community. The CCP resists change. Pressure must come from outside of China for it to change because domestic efforts for change are often quashed. Mr. Bush, please pass on our message to president Hu Jintao. You will be doing the Chinese people a big favor."—Shanghai man in his 50s

* * *

"Vice premier Wu Yi's visit to the U.S. preceded that of president Hu Jintao. She brought with her $150 billion worth of business for the U.S. [from the editor: actual figure is approximately $15 billion] I see it as a ploy to make Washington downgrade its alert over the threat posed by China. I hope Washington will see right through it. The guiding principle of the United States is to spread democracy and defend human rights all over the globe. Washington's commitment in this area should not be shaken just because of a few commercial transactions."—Shanghai retiree in his 60s

* * *

“Can someone please talk to Hu Jintao while he’s visiting Washington about the rule of law and respect for human rights? This is what the Chinese people really want to tell him.”—61-year-old retiree from Jiangsu province

* * *

“I heard on short-wave radio RFA’s live coverage of Hu Jintao’s visit to the White House. I learned that a reporter with the Falun Gong paper Epoch Times heckled Hu during the welcoming ceremony. You know, Chinese TV did not show that part of the welcoming ceremony…And they think the Chinese people would have no way of finding out. They think they can keep us in the dark. But I heard the heckler’s scream on RFA’s live broadcast. I think what she did is good. Because Chinese leaders really care about appearances. The higher the rank the more they care about appearances. They habitually hide in the Zhongnanhai leadership compound and cannot hear the voices of the people. So I think what the heckler did is a good thing. The saddest thing about this whole episode is that a Chinese citizen could not say what she wanted to say in China but had to do it in a foreign country.”—Jiangsu man, 32, occupation unknown

* * *

“I think President Hu Jintao’s U.S. visit did accomplish something. Since his trip, here in Hebei, jamming of VOA has stopped completely, and jamming of RFA has decreased substantially. Now I can hear RFA during the siesta hours and after 11 p.m. and all the way until the wee hours of the morning. No more drums and gongs and noise.”—Hebei man, age and occupation unknown

* * *

“Next week President Hu Jintao will visit the United States. Can President Bush raise the jamming issue with Hu Jintao? The Central Propaganda Department spends a vast amount of resources jamming foreign broadcasters. Instead of doing something so stupid they should ask this question instead: why is it that so many Chinese like to listen to foreign broadcasters? Are foreign broadcasters really ‘hostile forces from overseas’ as claimed by the Central Propaganda Department? Don’t the officials at the Central Propaganda Department have better things to do than jam VOA and RFA? What they really should be doing is trying to learn why foreign broadcasters are so popular in China. Nationalist Party chairman Ma Ying-jeou agreed to be interviewed by Radio Free Asia during his trip to Washington. It would truly be regrettable if President Hu Jintao does not agree to be interviewed by Radio Free Asia. We will be listening to Radio Free Asia intently next week. I hope Hu Jintao will speak to Radio Free Asia.”—Mr. Zhang from Hebei province

* * *

“Hu Jintao is about to visit the U.S. What Hu Jintao has been doing is far from what the Chinese people had expected him to do. He is following a Maoist policy – that is, he is ruling China with high-handed measures, including cracking down on freedom of speech.”— 50-year-old laid-off worker from Inner Mongolia

* * *

“On the eve of Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States, I urge the CCP leadership to make it clear to the Chinese people whether the United States is China’s friend or foe. I believe the United States wants to be a friend of China. But the CCP has treated the U.S. as an enemy.”—Shanghai retiree in his 70s

* * *

“Hu Jintao is pushing the CCP’s totalitarian rule of China to a higher degree than Jiang Zemin. What Hu is doing is against the tide of human civilization and progress. History will judge him accordingly.”—32-year-old man from Hunan province

* * *

“I hope when Hu Jintao visits Washington reporters will be able to ask him this question: are the Chinese people the true masters of their own country? Theoretically, the Chinese people are the masters of China. On the other hand, the Chinese people must obey the directives of the Chinese Communist Party. So are we masters of China or puppets of the CCP? If we were the true masters of China, we should be able to elect our own leaders. I am 38-years-old and I have never voted even once in my whole life.”—38-year-old businessman from Fujian province

* * *

“Hu’s visit to the U.S. is part of the CCP’s ploy to deceive the Chinese people and to produce better press coverage by the international media. The CCP controls the media in China in order to deceive the Chinese people. What the Chinese media say about China is not consistent with what the Chinese people really see and experience.”—Inner Mongolia construction worker in his 50s

* * *

“Wherever Hu Jintao may visit, he does not represent the Chinese people. The Chinese people did not elect him. The CCP keeps the people in the dark. Hu Jintao may represent the CCP, but not the Chinese people.”—Small-business man from Guangdong in his 50s

* * *

“I hope when President Bush sits down with President Hu Jintao he will tell him about freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. I hope that President Bush will tell Hu Jintao that no one can stop the people from wanting these things.”—Man from Shanghai

RFA Listeners on U.S.-China summit

“Hu Jintao’s upcoming visit to the United States is part of China’s global geo-political strategy, which is: try to impose the communist mindset on the West. This strategy is even more evil than the CCP’s totalitarian rule of China.”—Businessman in his 50s from Hebei province

* * *

“A caller said a couple of days ago that RFA’s broadcast content isn’t as diversified as that of VOA. I sharply disagree with what he said. Radio Free Asia is on the air after 11:00 p.m. local time. People who sacrifice their sleep and stay up late to listen to RFA despite jamming are not looking for entertainment but solid, hard news that they otherwise cannot get. RFA is good at what it does because it has a sharp focus. Please do not change your direction.” —Female accountant from Qinghai, age unknown

“Can someone from RFA please ask Hu Jintao when is in Washington to stop jamming RFA?”—Teacher, 26, from Fujian

“Hu Jintao is pushing the CCP’s totalitarian rule of China to a higher degree than Jiang Zemin. What Hu is doing is against the tide of human civilization and progress. History will judge him accordingly.”—Male listener, 32, from Hunan province

“I hope when Hu Jintao visits Washington RFA reporters will be able to ask him this question: Are the Chinese people the true masters of their own country? Theoretically, the Chinese people are the masters of China. On the other hand, the Chinese people must obey the directives of the Chinese Communist Party. So are we masters of China or puppets of the CCP? If we were the true masters of China, we should be able to elect our own leaders. I am 38 and I have never voted even once in my whole life.”—Businessman from Fujian province

“On the eve of Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States, I urge the CCP leadership to make it clear to the Chinese people whether the United States is China’s friend or foe. I believe the United States wants to be a friend of China. But the CCP has treated the U.S. as an enemy.” —Shanghai retiree, 70s

“Hu Jintao is about to visit the U.S. What Hu Jintao has been doing is far from what the Chinese people had expected him to do. He is following a Maoist policy...That is, he is ruling China with high-handed measures, including cracking down on freedom of speech. Take jamming of RFA for instance, it’s getting worse. I hope his trip will result in more protection of freedom of speech and less jamming of foreign broadcasters.”—Laid-off worker, 50, from Inner Mongolia

“Hu Jintao’s upcoming visit to the United States is part of China’s global geo-political strategy, which is: Try to impose the communist mindset on the West. This strategy is even more evil than the CCP’s totalitarian rule of China.”—Businessman, 50s, from Hebei

“I hope when President Bush sits down with President Hu Jintao he will tell him about freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. I hope that President Bush will tell Hu Jintao that no one can stop the people from wanting these things.”—Shanghai man, age and occupation unknown

“Wherever Hu Jintao may visit, he does not represent the Chinese people. The Chinese people did not elect him. The CCP keeps the people in the dark. Hu Jintao may represent the CCP, but not the Chinese people.”—Businessman from Guangdong, mid-30s

“I think it’s good that president Hu Jintao is visiting the United States. I hope during the trip there will be a resolution to the issue of jamming by the Chinese government of Western radio broadcasts to China. Western broadcasts to China should not be regarded as part of a conspiracy to interfere in China’s domestic affairs. The Chinese people should be allowed to compare foreign broadcasters such as VOA and RFA with Chinese domestic radio stations. This way we will be able to judge for ourselves whether foreign broadcasters tell the truth about China. Are they afraid that once the Chinese people find out about the truth they will lose their trust in the CCP?”—Male listener in Hebei

“I hope RFA reporters can interview Hu when he visits the United States and ask him to stop jamming VOA, RFA, and BBC. Jamming of RFA is so bad I can hear you only in the wee hours of the morning now. They use the sound of drums and gongs to jam RFA. I cannot specify which frequencies are jammed because I search all over the place for RFA. When I get it, I record it. If the CCP is nothing but greatness, glory, and correctness as it claims, why does it seem to be scared to death of RFA? The day the CCP stops being evil is the day it stops jamming RFA. I would like President Bush to urge Hu Jintao to realize the rule of law in China and respect human rights.”—Female caller from Yunnan

“Hu’s visit to the U.S. is part of the CCP’s ploy to deceive the Chinese people and to produce better press coverage by the international media. The CCP controls the media in China in order to deceive the Chinese people. What the Chinese media say about China is not consistent with what the Chinese people really see and experience.”—Male listener in his 50s from Inner Mongolia, construction worker

“To RFA’s president and staff: As Radio Free Asia marches into its 10th year on the air, I want you to know that your hard work and dedication have created in the mind of every listener a whole new universe, a universe of democratic ideals and blue skies.”—A retiree in his 70s, from Shanghai, China

“I am a loyal reader of the China Youth Daily newspaper. Last week I cancelled my subscription to the China Youth Daily to show how angry I was over the Central Propaganda Department’s decision to suspend the paper’s Bing Dian weekly supplement. For many years, Bing Dian enjoyed a large following because it was truthful, accurate, and fast in reporting subjects that we cared about. But it was suspended for ‘rectification’ by the Central Propaganda Department. This is part of a long tradition of persecuting those that do not toe the party line. Radio Free Asia often reports news that the people of China cannot otherwise have access to. I first heard of the suspension of Bing Dian on Radio Free Asia. If not for the report I heard on RFA, I would not have understood why the four pages of Bing Dian were missing from last Wednesday’s issue of the China Youth Daily. Thank you, Radio Free Asia, for the contribution you have made to journalism in China. More than you know, you have opened our eyes and minds.”—Male listener in his 20s from Jiangsu, China

“I listen to Radio Free Asia every single day—your noontime broadcast and your nighttime broadcast, all through the night until 6 a.m. If I don’t listen to RFA for even one day, I feel lost. I can do without food and water, but I cannot live without RFA. RFA invigorates me. RFA is the center of my spiritual life.”—Day laborer in his 50s from Beijing

“Thank you, RFA, for telling it like it is, and for allowing the Chinese people to tell it like it is. I wish everyone at RFA a happy Chinese New Year.”—Male listener in his 40s, a medical doctor, from Jiangsu, China

“I don’t know how to log on to a computer. So I listen to your program every day. To counter jamming, I have bought five short-wave radios. I can manage to hear you on one of them despite the jamming. Because of RFA I know what is going on in China. For example, I know about the relay hunger strikes.”—A 66-year-old driver from Anhui, China

“I discovered Radio Free Asia by accident. I listened to it and fell in love with it. Radio Free Asia has one distinct characteristic: It tells the truth. In today’s China everything is a lie, everything is fake, with the exception of liars and cheats.”—A 48-year-old unemployed man from Shanghai

“RFA’s programming moves me and invigorates me. I have just received the Mandarin service’s program schedule. It’s the best gift that anyone has ever given me. It’s better than anything anyone can ever give me.”—A vendor from Guangxi

“I heard that RFA has a new president named Liu Xuan. May RFA make even greater contribution to the Chinese people under her leadership.”—A Beijing man in his 40s, occupation unknown

“The Chinese government has been jamming RFA relentlessly and incessantly. I look at it this way: The noise with which Beijing jams RFA is the death knell of China.”—A man from Inner Mongolia, age and occupation unknown

“All of the true ‘throats and tongues’ of the Chinese people are located outside China; for example, Radio Free Asia. RFA/Mandarin programming not only embodies freedom of speech, it also reflects the true feelings of the Chinese people. That’s why it truly functions as ‘the throat and tongue’ of the Chinese people. I am not trying to be sarcastic by using the term ‘throat and tongue.’ I really believe RFA’s Mandarin department speaks on behalf of the Chinese people. Chinese media are inherently anti-people and anti-China because they do not care how the Chinese people feel. Even the Central Propaganda Department agrees that Chinese media function as the throats and mouths of the Party and must serve the Party. What that means is that Chinese media do not serve the Chinese people.”—Chinese listener, age 22, from Fujian, Oct. 2005

“Radio Free Asia is useful to us because it tells us what we need to know about our own country.”—20-year-old college student in Shanxi Province, China

“I listen to RFA while lying in bed at midnight. I listen to RFA during the siesta hours. RFA sounds so refreshingly different from Chinese media. RFA gives me a sense of belonging. Your commentators are like family to me. I cried when I heard on RFA that Liu Binyan had passed away even though I had never had the honor of meeting him in person.”—Unemployed Shanghai man, age 21

“I heard over the weekend that RFA has a new president surnamed Liu. I hope that under her leadership RFA will be even better.”—Caller from Fujian Province, China, in his 30s

* * *

Radio Free Asia and Me
By an RFA listener from mainland China
Sept. 29, 2005

"It has been nine years since Radio Free Asia started its broadcasts, and I have been listening to its programs for almost nine years as well. At first, I was not aware that there was such a radio station. As I like to listen to the radio, I wake up at four or five o’clock in the morning and tune in to broadcasts while lying in bed. I have a special interest in Mandarin news programs by overseas radio stations, but, instead of focusing on one particular station, I move frequently between VOA, BBC, Deutsche Welle, Radio France International, Radio Canada International, Radio Australia and other stations. I came across Radio Free Asia in one of my searches, and since then I have been listening to its programs every day."

"Why does Radio Free Asia have such a strong attraction? It is because Radio Free Asia has carried on the fine traditions of the Western media, especially that of the American media. Radio Free Asia always broadcasts the truth to its listeners promptly no matter whether it is good news or bad news. It broadcast promptly, truly, objectively and impartially such news as the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999, the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, the spread of SARS in Guangzhou, China in 2003, and the explosion in a natural gas field in Daxian, Chongqing, China in 2004. In 2003 there was a big mine accident in the area where I live, and miraculously, I first learned of the accident from a Radio Free Asia report. News reports by Radio Free Asia in the past nine years have been accurate, timely, objective, and impartial and they have stood the test of time."

"However, it is difficult to receive Radio Free Asia’s broadcasts, which are often heavily jammed by electromagnetic waves or signals, and on many occasions one can hardly hear anything. At first, I was very upset, but I found later that Radio Free Asia has been changing its frequencies all the time and that one program is being broadcast at several frequencies at the same time. So when I can’t hear anything at one frequency, I’ll move quickly to another frequency as if I were a guerrilla changing my position all the time, and I have to change frequencies several times a day. This is like 'if the East is dark, dawn is breaking in the West.' The first radio I used was an analog short wave radio. Over the years, I have changed it to an analog short wave one with frequency conversion and then to a digital short wave radio with frequency conversion. It was very inconvenient to use the analog short wave radio as I often missed parts of a program while trying to change frequencies. But I now can store the frequencies in the memory of the digital short wave radio and I don’t miss anything while changing from one frequency to another."

"Though I like to listen to the radio, I know nothing about international regulations on broadcasts. However, I know a bit about radio broadcast regulations in China. As far as I know, if overseas TV stations want to reach viewers in China through satellites, they have to apply for permission. The Chinese government says that if they fail to do so, it will be tantamount to illegally running a TV station in China. I infer that overseas radio stations have to apply for permission to reach Chinese listeners as well, or it is tantamount to illegally running a radio station in China. Accordingly, it is illegal to listen to such broadcasts, and the government has a justification to jam, block or ban them. I do hope that Radio Free Asia will get not only the permission of the US government to broadcast but also that of the Chinese government to broadcast in China. If this is done, we will be able to listen to Radio Free Asia openly and legally without having to act like guerrillas. Let’s hope so."

* * *


“One cannot know what is really happening in China from Chinese media.”—32-year-old factory worker from Jiangsu Province, China

“I am a longtime listener but first-time caller. I’ve been trying to call RFA’s hotline for years but couldn’t get through. I’m so glad I finally got through today. I listen to you every single day. Your program inspires me. You are the true voice of the Chinese people. You have no idea how much we appreciate you, because you are the only media outlet that speaks for the little people of China. You help promote the democratic process in our country. Long live Radio Free Asia.”—48-year-old electrical engineer from Heilongjiang Province, China

“I listen to Radio Free Asia every single day, from when you go on the air to when you sign off.”—First-time caller in his 50s from Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China

“Because of Radio Free Asia China has moved closer toward democracy. RFA is different from all other media outlets in that RFA has taught me how to think. RFA reports are always substantiated by ample facts. Now that we know more about what’s happening in China, we are thinking thoughts that we never dared to think before. And we tell our friends about RFA.”—Retiree from Qinghai Province, China

RFA's Mandarin service listeners comment on the passing of Liu Binyan
“Happy New Year to all RFAers. I thank you. I trust you so much that the Asia-Pacific Report is the only news program I listen to in order to know what’s going on in China. I have even stopped watching TV news.”—65-year-old Shanghai retiree

“Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese government has told nothing but lies to its people. I don’t believe what I hear on Chinese media. I only believe in foreign broadcasters. RFA reported the plight of Linyi blind activist Chen Guangcheng and how he tried to defend the rights of local residents against forced abortions and sterilizations. Please report more such stories to make up for the inadequacies of Chinese media.”—Retiree from Shanghai

“The greatest thing about RFA is that it gives us truthful information about China. That’s why more and more Chinese are tuning in to RFA. We listen to domestic Chinese media as well. Compared with RFA, domestic Chinese media cannot even be called media. Chinese media outlets are nothing more than a propaganda machine that serves only the needs of the Chinese Communist Party.”—Listener in his 30s from Guangdong Province, China

“I am a loyal listener of Radio Free Asia. On November 27, 2005, I received from RFA a wall calendar for 2006, in addition to the broadcast schedule of the Mandarin Service. Your gifts warmed my heart. I listen to RFA every single day. Being able to listen to RFA makes me feel privileged – as if I were living in the United States enjoying full press freedom. Being able to listen to RFA makes me feel empowered.”—Guangxi retiree in his 60s

“The nine years that RFA has been on the air is the happiest nine years of my life! Thank you, RFA! May you grow stronger with each passing day.”—Listener in Guizhou

“I wish to wake up the Chinese people. It’s time that they saw what is really happening in China. I wish to recommend RFA to everyone. RFA is the true savior of the Chinese people.”—Teacher in Hunan Province, China

“I hope that when President Bush visits Beijing this weekend he will ask the Chinese government to stop jamming Radio Free Asia.”—Listener in Jiangsu Province, China

Other Listener and Reader Comments
“Radio Free Asia belongs to the Chinese people. It is where we can speak our minds. It feels good to be able to get things off my chest. I love Radio Free Asia.”—Jiangsu man in his 60s

“I am a first-time caller. I found RFA a few years ago when I first started listening to short-wave broadcasts. I have been hooked on RFA ever since. It’s as if you have cast a spell over me. You have inspired me to think for myself on issues such as morality in China and the one-party system. You put things in perspective for me. Your call-in shows are the only forum where we can speak the truth without fear of retaliation.”—Listener in Liaoning Province, China

“I’ve been listening to RFA for six or seven years -- since my high school days. I recently heard an RFA report on the high rates of suicide in China. I know it’s a truthful report because I myself have tried committing suicide. I feel frustrated over the futility of life -- that there is no hope as long as we live in our current system. Many of my friends feel the same way.”—Listener in his 20s from Guangdong Province, China

“Radio Free Asia has made an extremely significant contribution to China. I know for a fact that people from all walks of life listen to RFA. Your listenership consists of civil servants, laid-off workers, college students, and so on and so forth. The importance of RFA is evidenced by the fact that it is severely jammed by the Chinese government. Of all foreign radio stations that broadcast to China, no one is jammed as badly as RFA. That just goes to show that RFA is the best in terms of program content. Why is the Chinese government so afraid of RFA? Because it tells the truth about China. Radio Free Asia has opened the eyes and minds of the Chinese people.”—Retired engineer in his 70s from Jiangsu Province, China

“Here in Shanghai some petitioners who lost their jobs and housing units are sleeping on the street. Some of them listen to Radio Free Asia on shortwave. RFA has done many reports on the plight of petitioners in China. You really care about them.”—Shanghai man in his 50s

“I first heard on Radio Free Asia that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il was making a secret visit to China. A few days later, Chinese media reported that Kim was indeed visiting China. New organizations live by timeliness and accuracy. By these standards, Chinese media outlets do not even qualify as news organizations.”—Listener in Shanxi Province, China

“I heard on RFA broadcasts reports by RFA reporter Jia Yuan filed from Beijing during President Bush’s visit. I hope this will lead to a change in Chinese government policy and that RFA reporters can soon be stationed in China on a permanent basis.”—Businessman in Shanxi Province, China

“First of all, let me extend my warm New Year wishes to Ms. Liu, RFA’s new Chinese American president. I heard her New Year greetings in Mandarin over the weekend. I would also like to wish all RFA editors, reporters, and commentators a happy new year. Thank you for what you have done for freedom and democracy in China.”—Yunnan school teacher in her 30s

“I heard about the shooting in Shanwei on Radio Free Asia. I think Western media are better than Chinese media. Radio Free Asia is Western media. Therefore, Radio Free Asia is better than Chinese media.”—26-year-old migrant worker from Guangdong Province, China

“I find the shooting in Shanwei incomprehensible. Oh, how I long for the day when democracy is realized in China.”—Listener in his 20s from Sichuan Province, China.

“Innocent villagers were killed by armed police in Dongzhou village. And the government is once again telling lies about the killing. I have been listening to Radio Free Asia for several years despite the heavy jamming. I have to try different anti-jamming methods in order to receive RFA signals, but I will never give up, because I listen to RFA for the democratization of China. Of all the international broadcasters, RFA is by far my favorite. You have enriched my life.”—Listener in his 40s in Shandong Province, China.

“The Chinese government has imposed the strictest news censorship on shootings in Dongzhou village. I denounce the brutal crackdown on innocent civilians by armed police. I hope those in the armed police will stop the killing. Because the next time they fire, they may kill their own parents and siblings.”—25-year-old man from Guangdong Province, China.

“I heard on Radio Free Asia about the shooting in Dongzhou village. The government says the armed police fired shots in self-defense and mistakenly killed three villagers. How laughable. This is such a gross violation of human rights. The soldiers who killed innocent civilians should be severely punished.”—Blind listener in his 20s from Shandong Province, China.

On Lien Chan's visit to China and cross-Strait relations
“The Chinese government says only three people died as a result of the Dongzhou shooting. I know my own government. If it says three people died, the truth is more like 30 people died.”—Listener in his 40s from Sichuan Province, China.

“I offer my heartfelt condolences to the victims of the shooting in Dongzhou village. I urge those Dongzhou villagers who survived the incident to be strong. The so-called harmonious society trumpeted by the government is based on the exploitation and pain and tears of peasants and workers.”—Peasant from Liaoning Province, China.

“We learned of the shootings from foreign broadcasters. The Chinese government thinks we don’t know what really happened at Dongzhou village. We all do. Even people living outside Shanwei know what happened and how serious the situation is.”—Listener in Shanwei City, Guangdong Province, China.

“Mr. Weilian, forgive me for being so emotional, but I am extremely angry. Official Chinese media claim that the police shot the villagers in Dongzhou because they were forced to. This is Tiananmen replayed. Chinese media claim that the order to shoot was issued by a deputy police chief of Shanwei and that he has since been arrested. I don’t believe in such nonsense. A deputy police chief does not have the authority to give the order to shoot to kill.”—Teacher in her 30s in Yunnan Province, China.

“The Shanwei shootings never should have happened. Peasants are a disadvantaged group to begin with. Their lives are full of hardships. The root cause of the dispute in Dongzhou village is that the peasants were not adequately compensated for their land. Of course they were angry. The best solution to this problem is not the use of force but the use of democratic and legal means. The government’s way of handling it is unacceptable. Look at the recent riots in France and Australia. French and Australian police did not use real bullets on the protesters. But Chinese police used real bullets to fire on peasant protesters. Whatever their excuse may be, such behavior is unacceptable. Such behavior cannot be condoned by a civilized society. In order for a government to gain respectability in the international community, it must abide by certain moral standards.”—Listener in Liaoning Province, China

“I learned from Radio Free Asia that many died in Dongzhou village as a result of the crackdown on civilians. Xinhua says the villagers had attacked the soldiers first so the soldiers were forced to shoot back. That reminds me of what happened in 1989 at Tiananmen. Didn’t the government say at the time that the students attacked the soldiers first? In Dongzhou village, the government took land from the peasants without proper compensation. That’s the genesis of the dispute. And they say it’s a government of the people and for the people. They talk so well.”—Listener in Jiangsu Province, China.

“On June 4, 1989, the Communist government of China massacred defenseless people. On Dec. 6, 2005, the Communist government of China once again massacred defenseless people. This time it was in Dongzou Village, Shanwei, Guangdong Province. Heavily armed police surrounded Dongzhou village and shot dead villagers who protested the construction of a wind-power plant. Scores of people died. And the next day the police banned local villagers from looking for the bodies of their loved ones. Dongzhou villagers are honest and hardworking peasants. Xinhua reported that only three dead and eight wounded. I don’t believe the figures Xinhua gave. They are not telling the truth. Moreover, the shootings occurred just before the Christmas holiday season in the West. I think the timing is deliberate because Western reporters are on vacation for the holiday season and so they may not devote much time or attention to the shootings. Is the leadership in Beijing responsible? The answer is a firm yes.”—Dye factory worker in Jiangsu Province, China.

“On June 4, 1989, the Communist government of China massacred defenseless people. On Dec. 6, 2005, the Communist government of China once again massacred defenseless people. This time it was in Dongzou Village, Shanwei, Guangdong Province. Heavily armed police surrounded Dongzhou village and shot dead villagers who protested the construction of a wind-power plant. Scores of people died. And the next day the police banned local villagers from looking for the bodies of their loved ones. Dongzhou villagers are honest and hardworking peasants. Xinhua reported that only three dead and eight wounded. I don’t believe the figures Xinhua gave. They are not telling the truth. Moreover, the shootings occurred just before the Christmas holiday season in the West. I think the timing is deliberate because Western reporters are on vacation for the holiday season and so they may not devote much time or attention to the shootings. Is the leadership in Beijing responsible? The answer is a firm yes.”—Dye factory worker in Jiangsu Province, China.

“Only one word could describe how I feel about the shootings in Shanwei: furious. The shootings remind me of the crackdown on Tiananmen student demonstrators. In 1989 China spring was annihilated by force. I am 54 years old and I have lived in China my whole life. I know the Chinese Communist Party so well from personal experience. The central government is now saying that the local commander had made an error. Nobody believes such nonsense. I know how things work in the chain of command. The local commander would never have ordered a crackdown by force if he had not received specific orders from higher-up. Let this serve as a wake-up call to anyone who still harbors illusions about the CCP.”—54-year-old factory working in Shanxi Province, China.

“Wolves must devour sheep. It’s in their nature. Even in this harmonious society of ours, wolves must devour sheep; they don’t just become vegetarian. So Communist soldiers have shot dead defenseless citizens, again. But if the Chinese people are serious about defending their rights, they must be prepared to make even greater sacrifices. What happened in Dongzhou village is just like what happened 16 years ago at Tiananmen. Kill the innocent and then impose a news blackout. And then Xinhua comes up with lies disguised as news. Citizens defending their rights are characterized as bandits. Peaceful demonstrators at Tiananmen Sqaure 16 years ago were also characterized as bandits. That’s what the Chinese government does best – lie. I mourn those killed at Shanwei.”—Listener in Yunnan Province, China, in his 40s.

“I heard on Radio Free Asia that police shot and killed some Shanwei residents who protested against the construction of a power plant. I condemn the Chinese Communist Party for this act of brutality and savagery. The road to freedom and democracy is a long and hard one, but we are determined to keep on marching toward that direction so future generations can have a better life. Those who shot and killed the peasants must be punished to the full extent of the law. I can understand if they showed up with tear gas. But real bullets?” —Listener in Shandong Province, China, in his 40s.

“I strongly protest the brutal crackdown on my peasant brothers by the Shanwei authorities. This proves that the Chinese Communist Party is still its brutal self. All that talk about reform is just talk. The CCP will never reform itself.” —34-year-old teacher in Jiangsu Province.

On the passing of former premier Zhao Ziyang
“It’s truly regrettable that decision-makers in China are trying to demonstrate that only through violence, bloodshed, and gunfire can they control society. One gets the sense that China is on the verge of a catastrophe. It’s truly regrettable.”—Listener in Jiangsu, China, in his 40s.

“I heard on RFA that at least two, could be four, villagers in Shanwei were shot dead by police. That reminds me. Last year here in Yunnan a policeman shot dead a woman and her son. Are those who are supposed to maintain law and order killing people? Hasn’t the government been singing the tune that it’s a harmonious society that we live in? But they are using force to rob farmers of their land. Guangdong is a relatively open place and yet such things could happen there. You can imagine what it’s like for farmers in other parts of China.”—Listener in Yunnan, China.

A Shanxi man, age and occupation unknown: “Here in Shanxi, jamming of RFA has gotten worse lately. I would like to say something about that: what they are doing is absolutely against the will of the Chinese people.”—Listener in Shanxi Province, China.

“I am a longtime listener but a first-time caller. I listen to RFA while sailing the globe. Reception is very good from the high seas. Not only do you cover news that Chinese media do not cover, you are always one step ahead of the other international broadcasters. Thank you, Radio Free Asia.”—Sailor from Anhui Province, China.

“We heard on Radio Free Asia that the vanguard of democracy Liu Binyan had passed away. We are deeply saddened. We offer our condolences to his family. For the few days following Mr. Liu’s death, ‘Different Voices’ program repeated Gu Jirou’s interview with him. We are grateful that we were able to hear his voice again. We will never forget what he said – that the road to democracy is a long and arduous one but that it must be a peaceful one. Mr. Liu Binyan is an inspiration to every freedom-loving Chinese citizen.”—Mr. Wang from Jiangsu Province, China.

“Mr. Liu Binyan once said that he would like to be reincarnated as a lamp so he could light up the road to freedom and democracy. He has been and will be a light that guides us.”—A Shanghai retiree

“We heard on Radio Free Asia that on Dec. 5 Mr. Liu Binyan died of cancer. I speak for a group of teachers here in Kunming, Yunnan Province. We are deeply saddened by the news because we cannot travel to the United States to attend his memorial service. We can only ask Radio Free Asia to relay our condolences to his family. Mr. Liu Biyan was a journalist with a conscience. We all wept when we heard that he had passed away. In his journalistic career that spanned half a century, Liu Binyan fought the communist dictatorship tirelessly with his pen. His love for China and the Chinese people are fully demonstrated in his most famous works, ‘People or Monster?’ and ‘A Higher Kind of Loyalty.’ He loathed dictatorships and authoritarianism. He stood up to them. His death is an enormous loss for ordinary Chinese people. Why do bad things happen to good people? The Chinese government refused to grant even a dying man’s last wish to return to China. Can you think of anything more inhuman? Mr. Liu died with China on his mind and in his heart. We mourn him. Mr. Liu, have a safe journey. We are certain that should you meet Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping in the afterlife you will continue to wield power from your almighty pen and give them hell.”— A female teacher from Yunnan in her 30s

“I mourn the death of Liu Binyan, the conscience of China. Last night I heard on Radio Free Asia that he had passed away. I haven’t called in more than a year. I feel so sad. That’s all I have to say.”—A Beijing retiree

“I learned from Radio Free Asia that Mr. Liu Binyan had died. I am deeply, deeply saddened. I would like to offer his family my condolences through Radio Free Asia. He died in exile in the United States, a man without a country. He died a victim.”—A blind man from Sichuan, aged 40

“I have been listening to RFA’s coverage of the passing of Mr. Liu Binyan for two days. I speak with a heavy heart. Mr. Liu Binyan and his reportage enlightened me intellectually. In my 40+ years of life, I have experienced all kinds of political upheavals. Mr. Liu Binyan, because of his writings, brought onto himself all kinds of political hardships. By looking at how he overcame hardships I learned how to handle my own in a peaceful way. May we all learn from him.”—A Jiangsu man in his 40s

“Mr. Liu Binyan has left us. I feel so sad...I am a longtime admirer of him. I have enormous respect for him. His death marks a historic moment. One Liu Binyan has died, but tens of thousands of Liu Binyans are thus born. Please relay my condolences to his family. I have written a poem dedicated to his departed soul:

We mourn with a heavy heart, Liu Binyan
The Conscience of China, Liu Binyan
He dared to speak the truth
He dared to fight for the people
He walks with the gods
He is a literary giant
He acted according to his conscience
He should be smiling in heaven
The backbone of China, Liu Binyan
How you suffered
How you triumphed.”
—A Jilin man

“Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese government has told nothing but lies to its people. I don’t believe what I hear on Chinese media. I only believe in foreign broadcasters. RFA reported the plight of Linyi blind activist Chen Guangcheng and how he tried to defend the rights of local residents against forced abortions and sterilizations. Please report more such stories to make up for the inadequacies of Chinese media.”—Retiree in Shanghai, China, Oct. 2005

“I have been listening to Radio Free Asia for seven years now. Sometimes I listen to RFA for eight or nine hours a day. Ordinary Chinese citizens can really relate to your reports.”—Unemployed listener, 25, from Jiangxi, China, Oct. 2005

On the media
“I live in Chongqing. I heard on Radio Free Asia’s Asia-Pacific Report that steel workers in Chongqing had been protesting for two months now, and that just before the city hosted an international conference the authorities cracked down on the protesters and three people died as a result. I don’t go out much because I am blind. But I asked my friends if this was true and they all said yes. Now I believe in RFA even more because you tell the truth. Chinese media have not said one word about the steel workers’ protest in Chongqing. Not one word.”—Listener in Chongqing, China, Oct. 2005

“I know there is no scientific way to gauge RFA’s listenership. But I know for a fact that RFA has a large following in China. In my work unit, for instance, everyone working the graveyard shift tunes in to RFA. Every chance I get I would urge my friends and relatives to listen to RFA because that’s the best way to get fair and objective news about Chinese politics and society. A few weeks ago I was traveling by train. Reception of RFA on the train was relatively clear. I cranked up the volume so everyone in my car [on the train] could hear it, too. The other passengers were surprised and expressed an interest. I then told them RFA’s broadcast schedule. I told them that RFA broadcasts real news about China—information that we cannot get from Chinese media. By my own estimate, RFA has tens of millions of listeners in China. It’s sad that Chinese citizens must rely on foreign media to know what’s going on in their own country. Without foreign media, we would be living in total darkness.”—Railroad worker from Zhejiang Province, China

“Like a cozy fire in the dead of winter
That’s you
A cozy fire in the dead of winter
You bring warmth to China
Your carry yourself with dignity and confidence
Justice and equality
That’s you
A voice that is both tender and aloof
Love and hate you distinguish well
That’s you
Like a flame in the winter
You bring light to China
Hated by few but loved by many
That’s you
Like a cozy fire in the dead of winter…”
—A woman caller in China who calls herself “Awakening”

“I bought myself a shortwave radio to help kill the time during the long summer vacation. And I found RFA. Your program is good, but jamming is so bad. I think jamming is so bad because your program is so good. There are seven or eight classmates of mine who also listen to RFA.”—High-school student from Hunan Province, China

“RFA’s Listener Hotline is like a toll-free super highway. There are no red lights or forbidden zones on this highway. It provides the Chinese people with a wide open space that leads to freedom and democracy.”—Man from Hebei Province, China

“School starts tomorrow. I must now say good-bye to my leisurely summer vacation and devote myself to my studies. I want to thank Radio Free Asia for being such good company who helped me spend two long summer months. I have learned so much by listening to you. Because of RFA, I see China in a different light. I now understand China. And I have a goal in life. Thank you, Radio Free Asia, for your contribution to the realization of democracy, rule of law, freedom, and human rights in China. You will always have my support.”—18-year-old student from Sichuan Province, China

“I’ve been listening to RFA for four or five years now. Chinese domestic media feature one voice only. You cannot find anyone singing a different tune. If someone listens only to domestic media he would eventually lose his ability to think for himself and just believe what the government wants him to believe. Chinese media are so ideologically oriented they are like a pool of stagnant water.”—Caller from Hunan Province, China

“The Chinese people will be forever in your debt, RFA, for promoting democracy in China.”—Laid-off worker from Fujian Province, China

“I didn’t know the meaning of democracy and freedom before. You see, I grew up under the communist system. Then I came to Guangdong. I bought myself an ordinary shortwave radio. The reception was lousy. But I heard on your broadcast that the Desheng brand of shortwave radio worked well. So I bought one. The reception is pretty good despite jamming. RFA has gradually instilled in me an admiration for Western democracy and values.”—Migrant worker from Guangdong Province, China

“RFA commentators and reporters are all nutrition experts. Every day they prepare nutritious meals for the Chinese people so we can be well nourished.”—Woman caller (location unknown)

“The other day I heard on RFA verbatim reading of an open letter by Tiananmen Mothers to Hu Jintao. I thought the letter, written by Ding Zilin, was very well written. What Tiananmen Mothers want is also what the people of China want.”—Salesman from Shanghai, China.

“Chinese media have given such high praise for the visits by Lien Chan and Song Chuyu. I think these trips are overrated, because they cannot help resolve the practical issues at hand. Mr. Song said he would adhere to the three ‘antis’ – that is, anti-Taiwan independence, anti-two Chinas, and anti-one-China-one-Taiwan. Some people are delighted with his statement. But I think Song Chuyu did not spell out what is in his sub-consciousness – that is, he is also opposed to the one-country-two-systems formula. It would be exceedingly difficult to resolve the China-Taiwan issue. The Nationalist Party and the People First Party are both opposition parties, not the ruling party in Taiwan.”—Caller from Hebei Province, China

“I don’t think Lien Chan should have visited the mainland. The Communist government is a dictatorship. There is no talking to it. I think the trip was a waste. Besides, I think most people on Taiwan are not in favor of having a dialogue with the mainland.”—Caller from Hebei Province, China

“Nowadays everything is fake in China – from medicine to food items to news. RFA is my only source of truthful information.”—Caller from Fujian Province, China

“The meeting between Hu Jintao and Lien Chan is analogous to one between a feng-shui master and a fortune teller. They seem confident that they can shape cross-Strait relations. That is not the case at all. I fear that Lien’s trip will have huge consequences for Taiwan. And chairman of the People First Party Song Chuyu is visiting the mainland as well. These visits bode ill for Taiwan because they will lead to many changes on Taiwan.”—Medical doctor from Shanghai

“I hope Lien Chan – and Song Chuyu – can bring Taiwan’s experiences in democratic reform to the mainland and urge the Chinese Communist Party to do away with one-party dictatorship. I think Lien Chan’s speech at the National Beijing University was without exaggerations, empty words, and platitudes. It was a solid speech.”—Caller from Jilin Province, China

“Lien Chan’s visit to the mainland is a good thing for people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. I understand that Song Chuyu (chairman of the opposition People First Party) is also to visit the mainland. I think people from the two sides need such exchanges. The system on the mainland is far from democratic. But in his speech delivered at the National Beijing University Lien Chan spoke of democratic ideals. I think that is a good thing.”—Retired teacher from Jiangxi Province, China

“Lien Chan’s speech at the Sun Yat-sen mausoleum in Nanjing was pretty good, especially the part about how both mainland and Taiwan should work together toward achieving prosperity.”—Accountant from Qinghai Province, China

“Lien Chan, the chairman of the Nationalist Party, is a weasel. The Nationalists bully members of the Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan. Their attack on DPP followers is merciless. And yet the Nationalists are all smiles to the Chinese Communists, like a little lamb. Visiting the mainland at the invitation of the Chinese Communist Party—can’t they see it’s just another trick by the CCP? And an old one at that? It’s déjà vu all over again, going way back to the 1940s. Hasn’t the Nationalist Party learned anything from its painful experience in dealing with the CCP? If the CCP’s real intention is to promote peace across the Taiwan Strait, it should first sit down with the Democratic Progressive Party, because the DPP is the ruling party in Taiwan.”—Caller from Shandong, China

“When meeting Hu Jintao, Lien Chan should insist that unification between China and Taiwan can take place only when there are free and open democratic elections on the mainland. But I don’t think Lien Chan will say anything of the sort. The purpose of this trip is for the Nationalist Party to win public support and consequently ballots in Taiwan. I think the Communist Party and the Nationalist Party are both fundamentally rotten. Chen Shuibian has the guts to tell the Chinese Communist Party that without democracy there is no unification. But Lien Chan would never have the guts to say that.”—Peasant, aged 40, from Guangdong Province, China

“Supporters of Lien Chan clashed with protesters at the Chiang Kei-shek International Airport in Taipei just before Lien Chan took off for the mainland. So the trip has caused instability in Taiwan itself. Neither the Nationalist Party nor the Communist Party represents the Chinese people. These two parties are responsible for the deaths of perhaps up to 100 million people. Whatever deal they strike this time will be a laughingstock in a historical context.”—Caller from Nanjing, China

“I don’t think it’s necessary for Lien Chan to visit the mainland. Half a century ago the Communists clobbered the Nationalists. As a result, the Nationalists withdrew to Taiwan. And now the people on Taiwan have voted the Nationalist Party out of power there. So I don’t attach much importance to Lien Chan’s trip. What’s he doing here? To ask for sympathy? To ask for pity? People on the mainland are more concerned about their own livelihood than anything else. How can Lien Chan’s trip help in any way in this regard? How can Lien Chan’s visit help resolve any of the problems we face on the mainland? Is he kissing up to the Chinese Communist Party so he can go back to Taiwan and bully the Democratic Progressive Party into submission? The Nationalist Party is no longer the ruling party in Taiwan. So what can this trip possibly accomplish? Isn’t it just a way to put pressure on [DPP leader and Taiwan President] Chen Shuibian?”—Listener, 45, from Jilin, China

“I think disputes amongst Chinese should be resolved by us Chinese. And most importantly, it would be best if they could be resolved through peaceful means. It doesn’t matter how emotionally one feels about the issue, we should try to resolve our differences in the civilized way of democracy and rule of law. If there is no law to go by, then we must sit down and talk. The chairmen of the Nationalist Party and the People First Party from Taiwan are to visit the mainland soon. I think it’s a good thing. Communication is helpful to the resolution of conflicts. It can help us avoid military confrontation.”—Caller from Liaoning, China

"I'd like to offer my congratulations to the elderly Mr. Liu Binyan on his 80th birthday. The day before yesterday, I heard that many noble-minded people had offered their congratulations to him. Among them, there was a Chinese-American woman writer. I think her name is Zhang Xinxin. She said that many people on mainland China asked her to give their best regards to Mr. Liu Binyan. She also said that mainland journalists who are around 50 years old miss Liu Binyan very much, but younger journalists are writing 'soft news' to eulogize the good times and idling away their time in pleasure-seeking. What I want to say is that people around 50 years old like me miss Mr. Liu Binyan as well. He is highly respected as an amiable person and a man of integrity, unyieldingly pursuing freedom and democracy. His Between Man and Demon is known even to women and children on the mainland. At the time he, Wang Ruowang, and Fang Lizhi were expelled from the party because of the 1987 student movement, people were indignant at their unfair treatment."—Listener in Jilin

“I would like to pay my respects to Zhao Ziyang, who has passed away at the age of 85. He demonstrated integrity and courage during the Tiananmen democracy movement. And he paid a high price for it. Since the founding of the Chinese Communist Party there have been people of integrity who have ended up being short-changed and mistreated. But they have earned our respect.”—Listener in Shanghai, aged 50

“A couple of newspapers in Shanghai reported Zhao’s death—in two simple sentences, on page 5 or 6. No ink was wasted on his bio, nor on the various titles he once held. But in the brief statement he was referred to as ‘Comrade Zhao Ziyang.’ I think the word ‘comrade’ (tongzhi) is significant. ‘Tongzhi‘ means ‘of the same will.’ I think the newspaper reference indicates that there are people within the party who identify with Zhao.”—A Shanghai man in his 60s

“I was only a kid during Tiananmen, but I mourn the passing of a Chinese leader who supported the students.”—Listener in Guizhou, aged 20s

“I heard on RFA that our former premier Zhao Ziyang has passed away. My heart is as heavy today as it was 15 years ago, when the Tiananmen democracy movement was crushed.”—Listener in Guangxi, aged 68

“China’s great reformer Zhao Ziyang has left this world forever. As his daughter put it, he is finally free. What he has taught us is that a human being must have a conscience. While he was deprived of his physical freedom for 15 years under house arrest, he must have had peace of mind, because he must have left for God’s kingdom with a clear conscience…”—Listener in Shanghai, aged 50

“I grieve over the death of Zhao Ziyang, the people’s premier. What he couldn’t realize in China—freedom and democracy—will someday come true.”—Listener in Shanghai

“I want to express my sadness over the death of Zhao Ziyang, our former premier who was persecuted to death by the Chinese Communist Party. I offer my condolences to his family. I accuse the Chinese Communist Party of dictatorship and cruelty. Zhao Ziyang has left us forever. I mourn the tragic way he died. I am outraged. He’s left us but he will always be on our minds. His contribution to China’s economic reform is incalculable. We should all ask why and how Zhao came to such a tragic end. The annals that record the crimes of the CCP just got another entry. The Chinese people will never forget.”—Listener in Guangdong Province

“Chinese politics at the beginning of the 21st century is like a pool of stagnant water. Many had hoped that [President] Hu Jintao would institute political reform. But that has proved to be wishful thinking. The Chinese people are deeply saddened by the death of the great reformer Zhao Ziyang. I’d like to offer my condolences to his family through Radio Free Asia.”—Listener in Jiangsu, aged 50s

“Mr. Zhao Ziyang has passed away. It is with a heavy heart that I make this call. It’s truly regrettable that the Chinese Communist Party would put a former premier and party secretary under house arrest for 15 years! Zhao became free only after his death. Zhao didn’t support the party policy to use force against students during Tiananmen. That’s why he was a great party leader. Zhao, along with those who gave their lives for Tiananmen, will one day be recorded by history as true heroes. And the people will always remember them. The Chinese people should learn from Zhao Ziyang. Democracy will prevail in China.”—Factory worker in Shanghai, China

“I heard on RFA that our former premier Zhao Ziyang has passed away. My heart is as heavy today as it was 15 years ago, when the Tiananmen democracy movement was crushed.”—Retired cadre, 68, in Guangxi

“Putting a former party secretary and premier under house arrest for 15 years! That just goes to show how shameless the CCP is!”—Listener in Guangdong Province

“Zhao’s most glorious moment as a Communist Party member was when he expressed opposition to using force against the students during the Tiananmen democracy movement. He did what his conscience told him to do.”—A 48-year-old driver from Guangdong

“When Zhao Ziyang urged the students to leave Tiananmen Square I’m sure he knew that the People’s Liberation Army was about to mow them down. I sensed that was what he was trying to tell the students. He risked his job—even his life—in doing so. I admire him for it. He will live forever on the minds of those Chinese who crave democracy and rule of law.”—Listener in Shangxi

“Unless you listen to foreign broadcasters it’s almost impossible to know Zhao Ziyang has died. It’s been three days and the government hasn’t made an official statement to the people on the death of Zhao Ziyang and how the party views Zhao’s work as former secretary-general. Anyone who lived through the Tiananmen democracy movement will never forget Zhao. He was a reformer. He advocated democratic reform but failed because he had to work within the party.”—Listener from Guangdong Province

“Chinese television and radio stations didn’t report the death of Zhao Ziyang. I first heard it on Radio Free Asia. Then I heard it on VOA, BBC, and the Australian Broadcasting Corp. also. It’s a shame that he died this way. Zhao Ziyang was a nobler person than [former president] Jiang Zemin. Ten times—10,000 times—nobler.”—Listener in Guangxi, aged 23

“I heard on Radio Free Asia that Mr. Zhao Ziyang had passed away. I am a blind person. I get all my news from the radio. Chinese domestic radio stations did not mention a word of it. I remember that Chinese media reported the downfall of the Gang of Four when it happened. But they are not reporting the death of Zhao Ziyang. Is the government trying to tell us that Zhao Ziyang was worse than the Gang of Four? This is no way to win the hearts of the people. What did Zhao ever do that was so terrible? He was opposed to killing students during Tiananmen. That’s all. It’s outrageous. I think Zhao deserves a state funeral.”—Listener in Sichuan Province, in his 40s

“On June 4th, the Communists opened fire in Beijing. Bodies of students and ordinary citizens littered the streets. Blood spilling everywhere...You call yourselves the people’s soldiers. Why then did you shoot down the students? A good man has left us. He’s finally free. I’ve been listening to foreign broadcasts to get the very last detail about his illness and his passing.”—Listener in Jilin Province

“To listen to Radio Free Asia, I purchased two short-wave radios in 2000. I used to be able to hear you despite the jamming. But since Hu Jintao took office, jamming has stepped up. It’s as if his full-time job is to jam Radio Free Asia. I think China has set up an invisible web across the country aimed at blocking RFA signals. I just love to listen to RFA—I’ve learned so much from RFA. If everyone in China listens to RFA, China would not be the mess it is today, because by listening to RFA we learn more truth about China, and we would then be able to make the right choices on the road to democracy. While there is RFA, there is hope for China.”—Listener in Gansu, China

"CCTV loves to say that according to The New York Times American soldiers are abusing prisoners in Iraq or in Afghanistan. Our media love to cite American media reports to attack the United States. But they downplay the fact that the perpetrators of these crimes are being punished. And of course our media never talk about how many Chinese the Chinese government has abused-the anti-rightist campaign, the Cultural Revolution, the Great Leap Forward, and the Tiananmen Democracy Movement. How many Chinese died as a result of these campaigns? To think so many Chinese had such high expectations of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao and their so-called human-centered policies! They expected the sun; they expected the moon. They ended up with nothing."—Listener in Shanxi

“Why is it that RFA is jammed more severely than the other international broadcasters? Because the Chinese government is afraid of RFA. Why is the Chinese government afraid of RFA? Because RFA tells the truth.”—Listener in Gansu, China

“I don’t usually watch television. But on Sunday, Jan. 20, I turned on my TV set at 11 p.m. CCTV news devoted a lot of air time to the Iraqi elections. I was confused. Why was this story getting headline treatment? Three sentences into the newscast I got it! They were saying that very few people were voting, and that the polling stations were nearly empty. I think they had their cameras there when the polling stations first opened in the morning, when indeed very few voters were showing up. But CCTV concluded right away that Iraqi voters were not enthusiastic about the elections. Then I heard on foreign radio broadcasts that voter turnout was as high as 72 percent. I take my hat off to every Iraqi who voted. They have my respect.”—Accountant, 39, in Shenzhen, China

“I discovered RFA by accident in March 2004 and have been listening to you every day. I particularly like your reports on corruption in China. As a former military officer, I know corruption. And your reports are so truthful. I know your broadcast schedule by heart. I consider it my obligation to tell my friends about RFA, and now my friends are listening to RFA, too. Everyone should listen to RFA.”—Former People’s Liberation Army officer, exact location unknown

“Foreign broadcasters, including RFA, are the only channels through which we can learn the truth about China. What kind of a government would allow its domestic media to report only positive stories? The answer: a government that cannot accept the fact that it has flaws.”

“I have been listening to RFA since October 1996. I know a lot of people have been complaining but in the last four or five months jamming has been so bad that you cannot be heard at all. The U.S. congress passed a bill to fund RFA. Why is it they are not doing anything about the thieving by Chinese leaders of the people’s right to know? Members of U.S. congress should write to President Bush or Secretary Powell or Dr. Rice and ask them to apply pressure to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao. I heard somewhere that China has spent 100 million U.S. dollars on jamming equipment purchased from France. RFA was founded so the Chinese people can know what’s happening in China. But China is depriving us of our right to know.”—Bank teller in Anhui Province

“I have been listening to RFA since the first day you went on the air. I am deeply grateful to you. Your talk as if you could read my mind. You are truthful, trustworthy and so powerful. I just love to hear your broadcasters’ voices. I love each and every one of your hosts. I also love Wei Jingsheng and Wang Dan. I admire them for the price they have paid in pursuing human rights and democracy in China. I love listening to their commentaries. My heart is connected with that RFA’s.”—Peasant woman from Zhejiang Province

“You know, there is a Hotline caller who claims he’s Cantonese but who speaks Mandarin with a Hubei accent. He’s been attacking RFA, accusing RFA of broadcasting news that makes China look bad. Good grief! Does he know the difference between China and the Chinese Communist Party?”—Businessman from Guangdong Province aged 45

“Despite the jamming, I can hear RFA sometimes. Recently RFA aired a report on how difficult it is for Chinese college graduates to find employment. It’s so truthful. And this is the kind of topic that Chinese media would try to avoid. Most of my classmates have not found jobs. We are all having a hard time finding work. It’s just like what you said in your report.”—Recent college graduate in his 20s from Hunan

“I think RFA’s news program is the best there is. In terms of truthfulness, Chinese stations can never catch up with RFA. I am a night owl. I listen to RFA after 11:00 p.m. almost every night. I love listening to your news reports. It’s the best way to know about China. I also love Listener Hotline. I am deeply grateful for the service RFA has provided.”—Listener in Zhejiang Province

"I've been a longtime listener of RFA. Your programming is truly good. Chinese domestic radio talk shows do not allow you to touch on sensitive topics. If you even try, you will be cut off. What RFA call-ins air is the true voice of the Chinese people."—Listener in Hunan, aged 38, engineer

“I’ve been listening to your station for many years. I really appreciate the contribution your station has made toward achieving democracy in China. Your contribution is undeniable. I think that your station takes both sides, which I think is true with most things… But … I think perhaps the way you introduce your listeners to your worldview is a little too radical…. For example, even though China’s situation is not good right now and the people’s freedom of speech and other things cannot be guaranteed, people also want to be in a stable environment. Your view on this may be a little too radical.”—Listener in Sichuan, China

"The Chinese government has been persecuting Falun Gong followers for five years. But the Chinese people can know the truth about the persecution through only Radio Free Asia and a few Hong Kong TV stations. The Chinese people have been forced to put up with the Communist Party's authoritarian rule for so long that when a group of people dare to speak up or not toe the official line, they are regarded as 'weird.' If more people are daring enough to speak up, the situation in China today would be quite different."—Listener in China

"I've been listening to RFA for more than three years. I'm not well-educated. I'm not good at expressing myself. I've been trying to call for a long time but never could get through. I am so excited that I finally get to talk to you, comrade Weilian. RFA programming is so rich and so truthful. Whenever I tune in to RFA, I am grateful for its existence. I usually listen to you around midnight. I have bought three short-wave radios in order to listen to RFA. Chinese television and radio programming just turn me off. I'm 64. I'd like to do something for Radio Free Asia before I die."—Listener in Shanghai, aged 64

"I've climbed thousands of mountains and crossed tens of thousands of rivers, Again and again,
Just for you.
Oh, the Chinese people, please listen to my innermost thoughts.
The Great Law of Falun Gong is good.
The Great Law of Falun Gong is good.
Do not believe in the lies.
I've faced violence and threats for you again and again.
Oh, the Chinese people, don't you know? The whole world is saying, the Great Law of Falun Gong is good.
The Great Law of Falun Gong is good..."—10-year-old listener in China, singing to RFA call-in program “Hotline”

"Fewer and fewer people are tuning in to domestic Chinese radio. What you hear on domestic radio is either commercials or programming that a person with a normal intellect would find intolerable. It's the same with the print media. Take newspapers in Nanjing for instance. Nanjing has one of the largest newspaper circulations in the country. Newspapers here contain dozens, even hundreds, of pages. But in terms of content, it's basically nonexistent. There are ads for treatment of various medical problems, houses for sale, etc. It's all ads! There are so few, if any, reports that reflect the plight of the masses. People are not enthusiastic about subscribing to newspapers anymore because they are all pretty much the same in terms of content. There is a huge gap between domestic Chinese media—both the print media or electronic media—and the Chinese people. That's why the Chinese public tune in to RFA despite severe jamming."—Listener in Nanjing, China, in his 30s

"I'd like to say something to mark the eighth anniversary of Radio Free Asia. Thank you, Radio Free Asia, for awakening tens of thousands of enslaved people, for making us understand the world and the meaning of freedom and democracy, for making us see truth, benevolence, and beauty, and for making us stand up to hypocrisy, evil, and ugliness. You are the sun in the dead of winter. You are the wind and rain on a scorching summer day. You are the light in the long dark night. Your voice has enabled us to stand up straight. I wish I had discovered RFA sooner. I wish all RFA broadcasters eternal youth and even greater charisma. You are the hope for the Chinese nation. True poverty is the poverty of the mind. Ever since I started listening to RFA, I have refused to accept lies and learned to think for myself."—Listener in Shanghai, in his 60s

"Congratulations to RFA on your eighth anniversary. I am your oldest listener because I've been listening to you for eight years. I think your programming is fair and objective, and most importantly, truthful."—Blind listener in Sichuan, China, aged 40s





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