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VOA marks 70 years of broadcasts to China

The Voice of America (VOA) is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the first US radio broadcasts to China, which began on 28 December 1941, just weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and the start of World War Two.

Voice of America was still months away from being officially established when the first Chinese language shortwave broadcasts were transmitted from studios in San Francisco. US government broadcasting operations to China were eventually moved to New York and then Washington under the Voice of America.

VOA Director David Ensor hailed the distinguished line of journalists who have worked at the service and transformed it into a modern multi-media platform.  

“Because of the professionalism and creativity of our journalists, the Voice of America is a trusted source of news to the people of China and the world,” Mr Ensor said. “As we move forward, we plan to make VOA programming even more vibrant and dynamic.”

Earlier this month, US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher hosted a reception to honour VOA’s China Branch journalists. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement congratulating Voice of America for “70 years of outstanding broadcasts to China.” 

VOA programmes in Mandarin, Cantonese and Tibetan are delivered on radio, television, the Internet, mobile platforms and satellite. VOA’s English language teaching programmes, including the webshow OMG! Meiyu, enjoy a large audience in China.