World Service Uzbek language broadcasts jammed by Chinese Government
The BBC World Service's short wave broadcasts in the Uzbek language
are being jammed by the Chinese Government, it was revealed today
(Tuesday, 15 October).
BBC confirmed jamming on three separate short wave frequencies when
it followed up unconfirmed reports with field tests in Uzbekistan
over the last few weeks.
jamming, which began on 1 September, consists of a strong radio
signal from a Chinese speech station on the three frequencies used
by the BBC during broadcasts.
eastern band FM and medium wave broadcasts are available around
the Uzbek capital Tashkent, the action by the Chinese government
means that listeners in other parts of Uzbekistan are unable to
hear BBC World Service broadcasts.
500,000 Uzbeks listen every week to the BBC. Uzbek is also spoken
by 1.5 million people in Northern Afghanistan and the BBC's Uzbek
service is an important part of the BBC's response to events following
last year's September 11 attacks.
The BBC has been broadcasting in Uzbek since 1994 and currently
broadcasts six hours a week.
BBC World Service Director Mark Byford says: "We are concerned
at the actions of the Chinese authorities who are preventing citizens
of another country from hearing Uzbek broadcasts, especially at
a time when the thirst for international news and information is
are protesting to the Chinese authorities in the strongest possible
The jamming coincides with reported demonstrations for a separate
state by Uighurs, a Muslim minority group living in Xinjiang - the
north-west Chinese province nearest to Uzbekistan.
The Uzbek language is easily understood by Uighurs. Human rights
groups have voiced concern that China has used the US-led war on
terror to crack down unfairly on the Uighurs.The
region's oil reserves are of great economic importance to China.
The BBC's Chinese service broadcasts have been regularly jammed
since May 1989, at the time of the Tiananmen Square protests, by
deliberately broadcasting a strong radio signal on the same frequencies.
BBC's English and Chinese internet sites are currently blocked for
users in China.
Notes to Editors
BBC World Service is funded through Grant-in-Aid from the Foreign
Office. This year's grant is £201 million.
The BBC World Service broadcasts in 43 languages including English.
The other languages are: Albanian, Arabic, Azeri, Bengali, Bulgarian,
Burmese, Caribbean-English, Cantonese, Croatian, Czech, French,
Greek, Hausa, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Kazakh, Kinyarwanda/Kirundi,
Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Mandarin, Nepali, Pashto, Persian, Polish, Portuguese,
Portuguese for Brazil, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovak,
Slovene, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian,
Urdu, Uzbek, and Vietnamese.
In the UK, World Service in English is available on 648 MW in south
eastern England. In addition, overnight on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio
Wales and BBC Ulster and via digital radio, digital satellite and
The English Network can be heard on the BBC's digital multiplex
in the UK, or in Europe on the Astra satellite, channel 865. BBC
World Service Extra - a new radio service broadcasting in the key
languages of Afghanistan and the surrounding region is available
on digital satellite channel 902.
Outside the UK, BBC World Service is available on short wave; on
FM in more than 129 capital cities; and selected programmes are
carried on almost 2,000 FM and MW radio stations around the world.
High quality reception of World Service programmes is available
via satellite in Europe and North America.
The BBC World Service website - www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice
- contains extensive, interactive news services available in English,
Arabic, Chinese Russian and Spanish, with audiostreaming available
in 43 languages.
also contains detailed information about World Service broadcasts,
schedules and frequencies in all languages.