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HindustanTimes Thu,27 Nov 2014

World

Australia's ABC monitoring jamming of China signal
AFP
Sydney, March 15, 2013
First Published: 13:53 IST(15/3/2013)
Last Updated: 13:57 IST(15/3/2013)

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said on Friday that it was monitoring interference to its signal into China as Canberra was urged to ensure Beijing does not block international radio news.

ABC International said it supported a statement by the Association for International Broadcasting (AIB) which said English-language programmes from the ABC, BBC World Service and the Voice of America were being jammed in Asia.

In the statement, the AIB said international broadcasts beamed towards China were being "deliberately interfered with by the jamming of a number of frequencies".

"While we have received reports of interference of our signal into China it is extremely difficult to identify or confirm the source of this interference," ABC International said in a statement.

"We will continue to monitor the situation as well as consult with partners in the region."

The state broadcaster said it supported "the free flow of information and objects to the interference of any broadcasters' transmissions", but no formal complaint had been lodged with Chinese representatives.

The London-based AIB said research indicated the source of the jamming, which makes it difficult or impossible to listen to the radio broadcasts, was China.

Australia's opposition leader Tony Abbott said the government must ensure the ABC's service was available in China, the nation's biggest trade partner.

"I don't want domestic censorship and I don't want international censorship ... I think it would be a pity if the ABC couldn't be accessed in China," he said.

"I think the Australian government should do whatever it reasonably can to try and ensure that Australian media outlets are reasonably available."

The government was not immediately available for comment.

The AIB said that Mandarin-language programmes had been interfered with for years, but this is the first time English services had been targeted in a widespread manner.

The association said it would lodge protests with Chinese embassies in Washington, London and Canberra over the disruptions.

Last month the BBC said its World Service shortwave radio broadcasts in English were being jammed in China in a deliberate move by the authorities there to cause "maximum disruption".

The corporation said that while it was not possible to determine the source of the blocking, "extensive and coordinated efforts are indicative of a well-resourced country such as China".


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