» Federation of Literary and Art, April 15, 2012
On Mondaqy, the BBC accused China of jamming its
Mandarin English-language service on shortwave. However, it also added that it wasn’t poossible to determine exactly where the blocking was coming from. Not at “this stage”, anyway.
On Tuesday, a foreign ministry spokesperson claimed not to understand the situation, and a media commenter, Michael Anti, apparently presented himself as a nerd (quoted by The Guardian):
I doubt there is anyone listening to the BBC English radio in China.
Anti should know better – there are even Chinese online discussions about foreign broadcasters on shortwave. Not to mention that only every second Chinese citizen is a regluar internet user so far.
Update / Correction (Febr 26, 2013):
the BBC statement is about jamming of its shortwave programs in English.
The following is a recording of a Falun-Gong-leaning station, the Sound of Hope (希望之声) being jammed.
You can hear the jamming station’s output rise after 35 seconds into the recording, and the “alternative” program, Chinese folk music known as “Firedrake” (火龙干扰) sets in after one minute. (Recorded in June, 2011.)
It appears that regular Chinese domestic programs on shortwave are also at times used to interfere with undesired foreign broadcasters, as they go on air along with them, and off air once the undesired broadcasts are over.
That’s a lot of time and effort for nothing, if nobody in China actually listens.
» Always with you on Shortwave (Chinese blogpost translation), March 17, 2012
» Radio jamming in China, Wikipedia, acc. 20130226
This is from the same Enorth series as this previous translation. The context of these events is the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Links within blockquotes added during translation – JR
Enorth (Tianjin), November 3, 2012
In the morning of November 3, the Tianjin Public Culture Volunteers’ Corps went to an PLA air force unit stationed in Tianjin, to perform wonderful cultural arts in front of the troops. This is another one among the “volunteers’ performances to greet the 18th National Congress” activities.
Among the performances, the volunteers had brought along wonderful male and female solo songs, reality-fantasy magician performances, xiangsheng, Pingju Opera song series, and other wonderful gigs. To express their gratitude, and to display the talents within their barracks, the soldiers also performed some wushu and guitar performances of their own.
The atmosphere of the scene was unusually warm. Apart from performing a song arranged on his own, young actor Du Lei also impersonated Liu Dehua, Liu Huan, and other voices, thus winning enthusiastic applause from the troops. Young singers Meng Fanjin and Wang Suiru, in beautiful voices, sang “Sincere Beauty” and “Xinjiang Story”, and one sang the popular songs “The Sun will never Set” and “Legendary”. The two young ladies’ silvery voices attracted the young soldiers. They all incessantly gave flowers to them to express their joy.
Famous singer Li Huadian, as a member of the Volunteers’ Corp experts committee, also took part in the performances. It was the first time that he wore the green T-shirt as the volunteer-corp symbol. Li told the reporter that this was a very particular feeling. He said: “It’s my honor to be a volunteer, to come to the barracks to perform, and to serve the soldiers who are defending Tianjin. As a working man of the arts, one has to go to the grassroots, to perform among the masses, and to give ones best to everyone. I will continue to come to the grassroots frequently, to give the best spiritual nourishment to everyone.”
These were successful performances, the performers saw the needs and the yearning of the soldiers for the arts, and the soldiers liked the cordiality in the performances. Next, the Tianjin Public Culture Volunteers’ Corps will make more grassroot performances, promote this city’s cultural volunteering work, unite more cultural volunteers, to provide even more high-quality spiritual nourishment to the common people.
(Wu Hong reporting / 记者吴宏)
Radiodiffusion Télévision du Mali, according to information on its QSL cards almost three decades ago, carried transmissions in French, English, Arabic and national vernacular languages during the 1980s on about five frequencies – two in the 60-m tropical band, and three from the 49- to the 31-m-band. The broadcasts I used to listen to in Europe back then were usually in French. These days, 5995 kHz in the 49-m band seems to work best in Germany, if recent video uploads on youtube are something to go by. The frequency 5995 kHz (49 m) shown there on youtube was also active during the 1980s, but at the time, the frequency was probably hardly audible, as European broadcasters, too, were rather active on shortwave. The tropical band was my medium to listen to Africa during the 1980s.
African domestic stations on shortwave – most of those audible in central and northern Europe came in most clearly in the 60-meter band – differed from each other in terms of formats at the time. Some were mostly boring official announcements and news, on other stations, there were also messages from and between listeners read out, and some stations also broadcasted pretty lively music. If I remember it right, RTM Mali devoted more time to regional music than most African domestic stations I listened to.
Private radio stations appear to be on air in Mali, too. According to Wikipedia, the law has allowed for privately-run stations since 1994. These days, Mali shortwave transmitters also relay broadcasts by China Radio International (CRI). The China Television Economic and Technical Cooperation Company, a state-owned company founded in 1991 for Chinese broadcasting projects abroad, provided Mali with shortwave broadcasting equipment, apparently in 2001, or somewhat earlier, “to help Mali develop a foundation for broadcasting”, and for CRI
to broadcast to Africa in Mandarin, Cantonese, English, French, Swahili, Hausa, and other languages, to let African listeners hear the voice from China more clearly and conveniently, to broaden Chinese influence in Africa, to promote Sino-African friendship and the development of broadcasting in African nations, their public welfare, national education and other important effects.
中广国际总公司 [in full: 中国广播电视国际经济技术合作总公司] 为马里提供并租用当地短波广播设备转播中国国际广播电台对非洲地区广播节 目的卡伊、莫普堤、卡蒂、塞古、锡卡索等地广播发射台工程项目的完成，既为马里国家广播事业的发展奠定了坚实基础，也实现了我国对非洲地区用普通话、广东 话、英语、法语、斯瓦希里语、豪萨语等多种语言在当地广播的目标，让非洲听众更加清晰、更加便捷地收听到来自中国的声音，为扩大我国在非洲地区的影响、促 进中非友谊以及发展非洲国家的广播电视事业、国家公益事业、促进国民教育事业等发挥了重要作用。
The China Television Economic and Technical Cooperation Company seems to work under the auspices of the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) and is located in Beijing’s Chaoyang district.
Obviously, during the 1980s, there weren’t too many ways to be familiar with musical genres and their protagonists. Local broadcasters could give you a taste of regional music, but as their target audience was familiar with the musicians anyway, there was no need for the announcers to explain the music they played. Things have changed with the internet, and you can get all kinds of background information now, as a recent blogpost by KT illustrates – it includes a number of samples/videos »
International Telecommunication Union letter codes used in the table underneath:
AIA – Anguilla; CUB – Cuba; EGY – Egypt; RUS – Russia; TIB – Tibet; TWN – Taiwan.
C – Chinese; E – English; G – German; S – Spanish.
|7240||PBS Tibet||TIB||C||Sep 2||22:59||4||5||3|
|5025||R. Rebelde||CUB||S||Sep 20||01:29||4||4||4|
|11560||R. Cairo 1)||EGY||G||Sep 22||19:00||4||5||4|
|15700||Vo Russia||RUS||G||Oct 2||09:00||5||5||5|
|9955||RTI Taipei 2)||TWN||G||Oct 3||17:00||4||4||4|
No impressive list for September and October, as I was much busier in recent weeks, than in August (see “Related” at the bottom of this post), and spent only little time in front of the radio.
1) While modulation was much better on that day than what listeners had previously been used to, readability of the broadcast was still less than O=4. Modulation is still not up to the standards. To give you an idea, here is a short recording from the September 22 broadcast in German.
2) Direct live broadcast from Taiwan on shortwave. Occasionally morse interferences, and growing (unid.) interference from five kHz further down during the last third of the broadcast.
Some 40 years ago.
The real revolutionary opera is here. It’s become a popular target for all kinds of re-mixes online, even before the gangnam hype.
Much of the following is based on CCP folklore and, and therefore not necessarily accurate. Links within blockquotes added during translation – JR.
Main Link: 中国人民解放军军歌作曲者郑律成
Zheng Lücheng, famous composer. Born in Korea’s South Jeolla Province, Guangju, Yanglin Village in 1914, into a poverty-stricken family. Original name Zheng Fu’en, later, for his passion for music, changed into Lücheng. His father was a patriot, his three older brothers all gave their lives for the cause of Chinese and Korean revolution. In spring 1933, Zheng Lücheng and a group of Korean patriots came to China, entered the Korean anti-Japan resistance organization[s] in China, and ran the Nanjing “Korean Revolutionary Cadres’ School”. After graduation, he was active in resisting Japan in Nanjing, Shanghai, and other places, and in his spare time, he studied music.
After the outbreak of the National Anti-Japanese War, Zheng Lücheng whole-heartedly went to Yan’an in October 1937, joined the Shaanbei Public School [for training cadres] and studied at the Lu Xun Academy of Art and Literature. At the beginning of 1938, he became the Anti-Japan-Resistance University of Military Administration’s musical director and vocal-music instructor at the Lu Xun Academy of Art and Literature. In January 1939, he joined the Chinese Communist Party. In May 1942, Zheng Lücheng took part in the Yan’an Arts Work Conference and attentively listened to Chairman Mao Zedong’s teachings. In August 1942, Zheng Lücheng was sent to the headquarters of the Eighth Army at the Taihang Mountains, as education director of the North China “Korean Revolution Military Administration School”. In January 1944, he returned to Yan’an.
Zheng Lücheng frequently joined the anti-Japanese front and created a great number of musical works that reflected the soldiers’ battles against the Japanese. In April 1938, he wrote the “Ode to Yan’an” which spread from Yan’an to the whole country right after it came out, and inspired many progressive young people to hurry to Yan’an and to throw themselves into the revolution. In 1993, the “Ode to Yan’an” was included into the twenty Chinese Classics of the 20th Century, to enter the Chinese annals of music forever. In fall 1939, he completed the “Eighth Route Army Choruses” together with Gong Mu, among these, the “March of the Eighth Route Army Song” and “Eighth Route Army Anthem” which became military songs being sung in many places. During the liberation war, the “March of the Eighth Route Army Song” was changed into the “Military Anthem of the People’s Liberation Army”, with some changes to the text.
After the victory in the Japanese War, Zheng Lücheng returned to North Korea and served successively as the Korean Workers Party Kangwon Province Committee’s propaganda director, North Korean People’s Army club director, the North Korean People’s Army Orchestra director, the Korean National Music University’s composing department director, etc.. During this time, he wrote songs in praise of Korean people’s struggles and Sino-Korean friendship, “Korean People’s Army March”, “Sino-Korean Friendship” and many other works. In 1950, he returned to China and took Chinese citizenship, settling in Beijing. He worked at the Beijing People’s Theater and Ensemble. He went thoroughly into factories, the countryside, and borderposts, left his footprints in many places, seeking for material for new works, and wrote a great number of musical works for workers, peasants and soldiers.
Within several decades, Zheng Lücheng wrote more than 360 songs of different forms and genres, which won universal acclaim. Among them, the “Military Anthem of the People’s Liberation Army”, by its simple and succinct language, its sonorous rhythm, solemn and heroic melody, created a deep impression of the People’s troops’ image, the overwhelming way it pressed forward with an indomitable will, advancing fanfare, following the route of the army’s growth and its victory, and became part of the People’s Liberation Army’s combat effectiveness and political work. On July 25, 1988, the Military Central Commission officially made the song the People’s Liberation Army’s military anthem.
Zheng Lücheng passed away in Beijing, on December 7, 1976.
= = = = = = = = = =
Main Link: 郑律成 (baike.baidu)
Note: Ding Xuesong (丁雪松), born in Sichuan Province in 1918, was a cadre in Yan’an and married Zheng Lücheng there. She was a Chinese citizen; Zheng took Chinese citizenship around 1950.
On the eve of the birth of New China, Ding Xuesong was appointed to build Xinhua’s Pyongyang branch office as the office’s director. In October, one week after the branch office’s establishment, China and Korea announced the establishment of diplomatic relations. On June 25, 1950, the Korean War suddenly broke out. With the tensions on the Korean peninsula and domestic decisions on their mind, it was decided to immediately establish an embassy in Pyongyang. Its main task was to maintain contacts between the two parties and armies, and to get aware of changes on the battlefield without delay. With Ding Xuesong as the Xinhua branch office director and a member of the embassy, Zheng Lücheng’s situation became more difficult, and each of them having separate things of their own to do, their feelings for each other were [still] too deep to part with each other. So the only way was for Zheng Lücheng and Ding Xuesong to return to China. Ding Xuesong, with help by a letter written by the ambassador to Chief State Councillor Zhou Enlai, asked for both her and Zheng’s return to China, plus requesting a renewal of Zheng’s party membership, and Chinese citizenship for Zheng. Even though Zhou Enlai was very busy, he quickly approved the requests, and Mao Zedong obtained Kim Il-sung’s agreement. Kim Il-sung was very generous, saying “Zheng Lücheng wants to return to China? That’s alright. The Chinese Communist Party developed so many cadres for us, and if you want a Zheng Lücheng now, that’s no problem.”
= = = = = = = = = =
He [Zheng] and Ding Xuesong were both persecuted during the Cultural Revolution, and he fell into a deep depression. Tragically, when he heard of the fall of the Gang of Four, which signaled the end of the Cultural Revolution, he suffered a stroke and died.
From 1979 to 1984, Ding Xuesong represented the PRC as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Netherlands and later to Denmark.
Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women, Lily Xiao Hong Lee (ed), New York, 2003, page 145.
Zheng Lvcheng, CRI/Soundcloud, Aug 4, 2012
[Update, Dec 23, 2012: now removed, but if you want the soundfile, contact me by email or comment.]
The Voice of Korea (VoK), previously known as Radio Pyongyang, is the international broadcasting service of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. When I listened to the station in the 1980s, you got the national anthem at the beginning, and following that, some frequency announcements and the news. Since then, two not-so-collective leaderships, i. e. Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, have died, and all VoK programs begin with the national anthem, a song for Kim Il-sung, and another for Kim Jong-il (both military marches). But there’s still space for the news, readings from the works of Kim Il-sung, and a mixture of military marches and folk music (the latter of which is occasionally quite nice, but more frequently kitsch, sometimes with apparent Swiss characteristics).
There is currently no interference on 13760 kHz at 13:00 GMT (click here, or picture above, for a digital recording), but the Chinese program, although more silently than the scheduled English program, can be heard in the background, too. It is probably on the same feeder between the studios and the shortwave transmitters.
Thanks to long vacations, it’s a pretty big list for August.
International Telecommunication Union letter codes used in the table underneath:
AFS – South Africa; AIA – Anguilla; ARG – Argentina; ASC – Ascension Island; CHN – China; CLN – Sri Lanka; CUB – Cuba; IND – India; IRN – Iran; ISR – Israel; KRE – North Korea; MNG – Mongolia; PAK – Pakistan; RRW – Rwanda; RUS – Russia; SYR – Syria; THA – Thailand; TIB – Tibet; UAE – United Arab Emirates.
C – Chinese; E – English; Fa – Farsi; G – German; H – Hebrew; K – Korean; Pa – Pashto; Th – Thai; R – Russian; T – Tibetan.
|5960||PBS Xinjiang||CHN||C||Aug 2||23:00||3||4||3|
|7240||PBS Tibet||TIB||C||Aug 2||23:13||3||4||3|
|9330||Radio Damascus||SYR||G||Aug 3||18:00||2||3||2|
|15700||Voice of Russia||RUS||G||Aug 4||09:30||4||5||4|
|9430||China Radio International||CHN||C||Aug 4||14:21||4||5||4|
|6000||RHC Habana||CUB||E||Aug 5||03:00||3||3||3|
|6090||Caribbean Beacon||AIA||E||Aug 8||00:41||4||5||3|
|11540||VoA Radio Deewa||CLN||Pa||Aug 8||01:36||3||5||3|
|15850||Galei Zahal||ISR||H||Aug 8||02:55||3||5||2|
|6973||Galei Zahal||ISR||H||Aug 8||03:05||3||3||3|
|13850||KOL Israel||ISR||Fa||Aug 8||13:59||4||4||4|
|15760||KOL Israel||ISR||Fa||Aug 8||14:35||4||4||4|
|4920||Tibetan Radio1)||TIB||T||Aug 8||21:58||4||4||4|
|15235||Channel Africa||AFS||E||Aug 9||17:00||3||4||3|
|11290||Royal Air Force Volmet2)||ASC||E||Aug 9||19:18||4||4||4|
|9490||Deutsche Welle Kigali||RRW||E||Aug 9||20:27||4||4||4|
|12010||Voice of Russia||RUS||G||Aug 11||15:55||4||3||3|
|9855||Radio Australia||UAE||E||Aug 12||23:20||3||4||3|
|17895||All India Radio||IND||E||Aug 13||10:00||3||4||3|
|15180||Vo Korea||KRE||E||Aug 14||10:00||3||4||3|
|17820||Radio Thailand||THA||Th||Aug 14||10:31||4||5||4|
|15275||Radio Pakistan3)||PAK||E||Aug 14||11:00||?||?||?|
|9325||Vo Korea||KRE||K||Aug 15||20:01||4||5||4|
|15345||RAE Buenos Aires||ARG||G||Aug 15||20:55||4||3||3|
|9680||Radio Thailand4)||THA||G||Aug 20||20:00||4||4||5|
|21590||IRIB Tehran 5)||IRN||E||Aug 21||10:28||4||5||3|
|12085||Vo Mongolia||MGL||C||Aug 23||10:00||2||4||2|
|9330||Radio Damascus 6)||SYR||R||Aug 23||17:24||3||5||3|
1) SIO 444 on parallel frequency 4905 kHz
2) probably Ascension Island
3) SIO = 3, but modulation as bad as usual.
4) Interference from 9675 kHz, probably Radio Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Turkish-language program.
5) SIO 454 on parallel frequency 21640 kHz
6) Modulation as bad as usual, but the better reception than later in the evening (as usual in August).
» Previous Logs, August 2, 2012
“China isn’t far away, it’s in your ear” (中国不远, 就在耳边) is a regular slogan on China Radio International‘s (CRI) Mandarin service. The organization’s budget seems to be more remote.
China Government Procurement and Supply Net (中国政府采购供应商网) provides comparatively detailed data concerning SARFT‘s (State Administration of Radio Film and Television) budget than other sources. The budget sheet lists twenty-four second-level budget spending units, including China Radio International, but still without specifying those second-level units’ respective budgets.
Their order of appearance in the SARFT budget list may or may not indicate their share in the budget:
|1)||国家广播电影电视总局本级 / State Administration of Radio Film and Television level|
|2)||中国人民广播电台 / China National Radio (CNR)|
|3)||中国国际广播电台 / China Radio International (CRI)|
|4)||中央电视台 / CCTV|
|5)||国家广播电影电视总局无线电台管理局 / The (wireless) broadcasting management office at SARFT|
|6)||国家广播电影电视总局监管中心 / SARFT Supervision Center|
|7)||机关服务中心 / Authority Service Center|
|8)||中国广播艺术团 / China Broadcasting Performing Art Troupe|
|9)||中国电影乐团 / China Film Symphony Orchestra|
|10)||中国爱乐乐团 / China Philharmonic Orchestra|
|11)||国家广播电影电视总局培训中心 / SARFT Training Center|
|12)||国家广播电影电视总局电影剧本规划策划中心 / SARFT film and tv series planning center|
|13)||国家广播电影电视总局广播影视人才交流中心 / SARFT Human Resources Exchange Center|
|14)||国家广播电影电视总局、电影卫星频道节目制作中心 / SARFT film, satellite programs production center|
|15)||国家广播电影电视总局广播科学研究院 / Academy of Broadcasting Science|
|16)||中国电影资料馆 / China Film Archive|
|17)||中国电影科学技术研究所 / China Film Science and Technology Institute|
|18)||中国电影事业发展专项资金管理委员会办公室 / China Film Enterprise Development Special Funding Management Committee’s Office|
|19)||国家广播电影电视总局广播电视规划院 / SARFT Academy of Broadcasting Planning (ABP)|
|20)||国家广播电影电视总局电影技术质量检测所 / Test Institute of Film Technical Quality|
|21)||国家广播电影电视总局电影数字节目管理中心 / SARFT film and digital programs management center|
|22)||国家广播电影电视总局广播影视发展研究中心 / SARFT Radio, Television and Cinema Development Research Center (also China Communication Research Center)|
|24)||国家广播电影电视总局信息中心 / SARFT (Direct) Satellite Broadcast Radio and Television Management Center|
Source for the list above:
Click picture above for larger table.
For more detailed cost elements, see download.
Where does this leave the SARFT within the total central government’s expenditure? JR isn’t familiar with anything above a billion, but this is the budget-draft amount of planned government expenditure in 2012, as of March this year: 64120亿元.
If 亿 stands for 100,000,000, this would be 6,412,000,000,000 Yuan CNY.
If SARFT has 8,842,025,500 Yuan CNY to spend, that would be 0,14 per cent of China’s central government spending -or, more correctly, 0.09 per cent. After all, only 5,502,344,100 Yuan CNY are officially provided by the government.
SARFT, Wikipedia, accessed June 1, 2012