Radio Peking, before it was known as Radio Beijing, the Voice of The People’s Republic of China, who broadcast daily in English, and unless you had a powerful shortwave radio, you do doubt never heard these broadcasts.
This one is from December 21, 1966 – We are smack in the middle of the Vietnam War, and The Cultural Revolution is a little over 6 months old. Needless to say, warm and friendly ties with the U.S. are nonexistent, and it wouldn’t be until the early 1970’s that any sort of contact with the China of Mao Tse-Tung would take place.
But this was part of the seemingly endless war of propaganda, waged between East and West during those Cold War years. Much of it was bluster, some of it was truths taken out of context and some of it was purely inflammatory. We were guilty of it too. In the war of propaganda, it was a case of endless barbs and inflammation, all for the sake of winning hearts and minds.
Because we were in the middle of a Propaganda war, making sure the other side didn’t hear what you were saying was crucial. So much of what was beamed to the U.S. got buried in noise and jamming – much the same as Radio Peking jamming Voice Of America – for all the jamming that went on, precious little was actually heard by the sides the rhetoric was intended, but every so other a broadcast or two would squeak through.
Which is why this one is a bit difficult to listen to – it’s murky, muddy and indecipherable a lot of the time. But if you listen carefully, you’ll get the gist of what’s going on – and most of it is singing the praises of Chairman Mao. In case you didn’t know already.
Here is a slice of Radio Peking as it was heard (or mostly heard) in the West on December 21, 1966.