Noonan Emphasizes VOA/RFA Role in China
and families in China victimized by human rights abuses need Voice of
America and Radio Free Asia broadcasts, in the opinion of Ann Noonan.
executive director of the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting, which
describes itself as a non-partisan media freedom advocate. The group has been critical
of BBG restructuring and programming goals, and has called for the board itself to be reformed.
Noonan spoke at a conference in New York on family
planning policy and population development in the People’s Republic of China. It
was sponsored by Women’s Rights in China and Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, headed
by members of CUSIB.
“We are relived that for the second year
in a row, the U.S. Congress has publicly rebuked the Broadcasting Board of
Governors for trying to silence broadcasts to places like China,” Noonan continued,
according to a transcript. “We are delighted that the U.S. Congress has assured
the American taxpayer that programs like Voice of America Mandarin, Cantonese
and Tibetan radio broadcasts will remain
She praised BBG member Victor Ashe for
fighting “against the tide for Voice of America Mandarin, Cantonese and
Tibetans services — especially the radio broadcasts — to remain intact, and for
the journalists who work in these areas to keep their jobs.” She said board
members Michael Meehan and Susan McCue “worked to support the restoration of funding
for Voice of America Tibetan radio broadcasts,” and she commended their “courage
to break from the goals of the BBG and IBB management.”
According to a
statement summarizing her remarks, “China’s one-child policy has led to forced
abortions and sterilizations of women. It is also blamed for a dramatic
increase in trafficking in women and children affecting China and other Asian
CUSIB said VOA and RFA programs “are
believed to be a vital source of uncensored information for many women and
their families who are opposing the Chinese government’s family planning
policies. Many of these women live in rural communities. VOA and RFA websites
are censored and blocked by the Chinese government, leaving radio and to some
extent satellite TV as the only accessible, affordable, and safe method of
receiving uncensored news.
Noonan’s remarks (PDF).