China Radio International opens FM station in Vientiane

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Hu Jintao opens CRI (China Radio International) station in Laos: gets one step ahead of BBC and VoA

zhongguo jingji wang (China Economics Net), 2006-11-21 -- 08:14 // shijie xinwen bao reprint

Translated and posted on December 24, 2006
The Chinese text is here.


China´s and Laotian heads of state push the starting button

"I really hope that I can listen to the FM93 programme as early as possible, China Radio International´s Vientiane station is China´s gift to our ears." From today, Laotian listener´s Xikun Benweilai´s wish has come true.

In the evening of [November] 19th, CRI´s Vientiane station had its inagural ceremony in the Laotian Central Auditorium. The big auditorium was illuminated all over, and on the red big background wall, Chinese and Laotian buildings were painted - the Heavenly Temple, and a pagoda bell, plus the letters "China Radio International Vientiane Station FM93 signing-on ceremony".

Hu Jintao, who had just arrived for a state visit to Laos, entered the Auditorium together with Laotian chairman Choummaly Sayasone. After they had jointly pushed the sign-on button, China Radio International went on the air in Vientiane for the first time, in Chinese, Laotian, and English.

Vientiane listeners, for the first time, could really listen clearly to the cordial voice of China´s chairman, from the friendly neighbouring country: "China and Laos are connected as friendly neighbours, by mountains and seas, the people of the two countries have a deep, traditional friendship - this is for the mutual understanding of the peoples of these two nations, as a contribution to friendship to be passed on. mi da pa bu jin lao man nin!"

This last sentence was spoken by chairman Hu Jintao in Laotian, to wish the Chinese-Laotian friendship all the best. The deeply-felt words reverberated in the nightly skies, and the ears of the Laotian listeners.

China Radio International´s director, Wang Gengnian, said at the ceremony: "China and Laos are [...] connected by the seas, imprinted into each others hearts, and by a long common history of cultural exchange. China Radio International Vientiane Station´s establishment and signing-on is a focus of Chinese-Laotian friendly cooperation. It marks the new era of the development of the Chinese-Laotian friendship."

At the same time, the live transmission of the opening ceremony was festively going on in Peking, television covered the Vientiane opening ceremony live. State Radio and TV deputy director Zhang Tianjin, Laotian ambassador to Peking, Can He, and China Radio International´s related heads attended this ceremony. Tian Jin emphasised that China Radio International would step by step reach out to the world, and let the world, in every place, listen to China´s voice.

CRI is the first overseas FM station in Asia

Vientiane station is China Radio International´s second station, after its station in Nairobi, Kenya, which was inaugurated early this year. It is also country´s first station established overseas in Asia. This station was built by cooperation by CRI, from Chinese International TV Broadcasting and Economic Cooperation General Company and Laotian State Radio. It broadcasts 12.5 hours a day, in Laotian, English, and Standard Chinese. Listeners in Vientiane and some adjacent areas can listen to this station´s programmes.

State broadcasting director Wang Taihua received journalists recently and said: "As a cultural messenger of the new era, CRI´s Vientiane station will surely deepen communication and understanding between the Chinese and Laotian people, strengthen cooperation and support the bridge of friendship. It will help the old Chinese-Laotian friendship rise to new heights."


A China Radio International official said that the Chinese-Laotian friendly relations had created good conditions for the station to broadcast from Vientiane. According to this official, the permission for CRI broadcasting there was one of only few such project approvals. Before, the BBC, VoA and other broadcasters had put forward such broadcasting projects, but the Laotian government had not approved them.

Laotian listeners are interested in Chinese culture

The opening of Vientiane station attracts deep interest from many Laotian listeners. 22 year-old Su Liye studied at Xiamen Overseas Chinese University [huaqiao daxue] before. This young man is crazy about Chinese culture and really hopes to get more China-related news from the Vientiane CRI station.

To satisfy Laotian listeners information needs, CRI Vientiane station conducted careful planning. Apart from news about China´s economy and society, it also thoroughly covers Chinese-Laotian trade and cultural cooperation and exchange.


External links

Regional Relations
A highway that binds China and its neighbors, Mar 30, 2008
International Herald Tribune

China as Big Brother, Mar 12, 2007
Real Clear Politics, Chicago

Competing for influence in Laos, Dec 12, 2006
The Nation, Bangkok

Radio, media
CRI Laotian service
China Radio International

VoA English cutting plans
National Public Radio, USA

VoA cuts - reactions
The Hill Website, Washington D.C.

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