Open Letter to Members of House Appropriations Committee Protests BBG Plans to Eliminate VOA Radio to China


February 28, 2011
Open Letter to Members of House Appropriations Committee
Dear Members of Congress:
This letter is to request your strong support to restore the budget for Voice of America Cantonese Service and Voice of America Mandarin Service in the FY 2012 Budget.
We object to the proposal by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which serves to manage Voice of America (VOA), to eliminate the entire VOA Cantonese Service, as well as eliminate the positions of more than half of the VOA Mandarin Service staff members.
This egregious effort to disappropriate funding from VOA will effectively eliminate the purpose of the Congressionally mandated Public Law 94-350 to the people in China who speak Cantonese and Mandarin to be provided with news broadcasts that promote freedom and democracy.
This target against Voice of America – right on the heels of PRC President Hu Jintao’s recent visit to the United States – is nothing less than a concession that will dismantle America’s commitment to broadcast news from the United States.  During the same time of this funding cutback, the PRC intends to spend more than a billion dollars to enhance their propaganda goals in the United States.
This campaign against Voice of America comes during the PRC’s media crackdown on stories against Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo. It comes during a time when PRC’s media has blocked news about uprisings in Egypt and Libya.  It comes during a PRC crackdown against any stories shared about the blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng, and all prisoners of conscience in China.
We implore you to restore the FY 2012 Budget funding for the Voice of America’s Mandarin and Cantonese Services so Voice of America can continue to fulfill its mandate to provide a balanced and comprehensive view of significant American thought and institutions; and to clearly present the policies of the United States to the people of China.
Harry Wu, Laogai Research Foundation
Justin Yu, Chinese The Chinese Chamber of Commerce in New York
Ann Lau, Visual Artists Guild
Ann Noonan, Free Church for China
Bob Fu, China Aid
Anna Cheung, Alliance for Hong Kong Chinese in the US
Peggy Chane, Visual Artists Guild
Doris Chan, Visual Artists Guild
Reggie Littlejohn, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers
Ganden Thurman, Tibet House
Jeremy Taylor, Free Burma Alliance
Ethan Gutmann. Recipient Tiananmem Spirit Award
Joe Brown, Pasadena NAACP
Jonathan Cao, Chinese Coalition for Citizens’ Rights
Juntao Wang, National Committee Democratic Party of China
Robert A. Senser, Human Rights for Workers
Jing Zhang, Women’s Rights in China