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Chinese station set to expand coverage

THE six-month-old Cambodia-China Alliance radio station is to change its frequency from FM 96.5 to FM 105.75 next month in a move that will extend its reach, the head of National Radio of Cambodia told the Post last week.

"The reason for the change in radio frequency is that we wanted the Cambodia-China Alliance radio station to be able to expand their coverage ... so that many more provinces will be reached," said Tong Yan, director general of National Radio.

The Chinese-run station, which launched in July 2008 on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, plays music and reports on news, education and art in English, Mandarin, Khmer and Teochew, a Chinese dialect spoken by many Chinese in Cambodia.

"We have broadcasted our programmes for six months now, and we have gained popularity among both Chinese and Cambodians," said An Xiaoyu, the director of China Radio International in Cambodia.

Chinese perspectives
Pen Samitthy, president of the Cambodian Club of Journalists, said the radio station is not a mouthpiece for Chinese propaganda and instead provides listeners with a chance to learn about Chinese culture. He did, however, say the station shies away from contentious issues.

"The radio station usually broadcasts news that is not sensitive.... [But] the radio station does not broadcast news that is in favour of the [Chinese] government or any propaganda," he said.

The new frequency will allow the radio station to expand in to Kampong Chhnang, Kandal, Takeo and Siem Reap provinces, Tong Yan said.

The popularity of FM radio, especially among young people, makes it an effective way to reach out to a wide audience and to reinforce links between Cambodia and China, he said.

"Listening to FM radio is still in fashion among youth, so we need to respond to their demand," he said.

"The station can be an additional bond that strengthens the relationship between Cambodia and China."

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