Ocean Voice radio, 95.9 FM, in Taichung, Taiwan has been raided for the fifth time since February by the Republic of China in-exile. The Chinese government of Ma Ying-Jeou currently controlling Taiwan refuses to grant the pro-independence radio station a license in an effort to shut down its pro-democracy programming.
Ocean Voice staff members were subjected to four arrests last year but remain dedicated to keeping Ocean Voice on the air. ROC censors changed tactics this year and in February raided the radio station’s Kellong facility.
In April, the censorship was tightened with two raids on Ocean Voice’s tower at Shin-Ser, one on April 13th and the other on April 24th. The raids have continued into May with the censors returning to confiscate broadcast equipment on May 6th and again on May 19th.
Ocean Voice staff raced ahead of ROC raiders after the first raid in April and rescued equipment from four mountain-top transmitter sites around the island. Using salvaged equipment the station has returned to broadcasting from the Shin-Ser facility serving Taichung after each raid.
Now with equipment nearly gone the station is back to internet-only broadcasting. The latest raid was apparently triggered by the vigorous debate on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement that the station has been providing in recent days.
Chen Shui-bian, the former ROC President now in prison, says he would have granted Ocean Voice a license but was kept unaware of the station’s plight by his staff. Chen is sensitive to abuses by the Republic of China in-exile now that he has been convicted for corruption following a controversial trial marred by a parody by court personnel mocking Chen.
James Chang, Ocean Voice Executive Director, explains that the station has applied for a license five times but that the applications get tossed in the trash without a formal denial. Ocean Voice uses a empty frequency and its signal does not interfere with other radio stations.
It is the pro-independence stance of the station and its pro-democracy programming that has earned the ire of the ROC censors that want to silence the station.
The battle for Taichung airwaves has become the front line in the efforts to liberate Taiwan from the exiled Chinese regime imposed on the island by the United States in 1945. Although the San Francisco Peace Treaty defines the United States as the “principal occupying Power” over Taiwan the U.S. has allowed its proxy occupation force, the Republic of China, to dominate the island despite a lack of sovereignty over Taiwan.
The District if Columbia U.S. Court of appeals ruled last year that Taiwan was “stateless” and caught in “political purgatory”. Meanwhile, the champions of democracy at Ocean Voice wish the United States would assert some of its treaty authority to stop the censorship of the radio station.
For further information on Taiwan’s Political Purgatory: www.cakechow.com/Taiwan
Visit Ocean Voice radio website: http://www.oceanvoice.org.tw