Photo: Radio Free Asia

The Trump administration plans to cut $4.5 million from Radio Free Asia in a move that critics say would sharply reduce Chinese language broadcasts into China by the pro-democracy radio, according to a report in the Washington Free Beacon.

The budget cuts were announced at RFA’s Washington headquarters recently and drew opposition from the staff and the radio’s supporters in Congress, according to administration officials. The move also comes as China and Russia are devoting more resources to official government-funded broadcasting and propaganda activities targeting overseas audiences.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the government entity that is RFA’s parent organization, defended the funding cuts to Mandarin-language radio as part of a shift to the use of social media—outlets in China that are tightly controlled by the government and explicitly ban RFA content.

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