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Taiwan Radio Museum holds exhibit of intercepted broadcasts
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An exhibition at the Taiwan Radio Museum is for the first time showcasing historical materials from the Central Radio Station's interception of mainland broadcasts. The exhibition is staged at the "National Radio Museum," located in Min-shong Village, Chia-yi County, also home to the Min-shong branch of the Central Radio Station.

Covered by coconut palms, the simple but solid red building was first used as military radio transmission base by Japanese troops. The construction began in 1937 and was completed in 1940. After 1949, the building became the Min-shong sub-station, one of the nine branches of the Central Radio Station that broadcast radio programs to the mainland.

According to museum assistant Liu Hsiang-mei, during the period of cross-Straits confrontation, the main duty of the Central Radio was to wage broadcasting battles and keep in contact with undercover agents on the mainland. In 1998, Central Radio split from the "Ministry of Defense" and established the "National Radio Museum" at the Min-shong branch.

The second floor displays materials including Album of Broadcasting Battle Programs, the 40th edition of Analysis of Weekly Situation published on September 31, 1996, and Records of Enemy's Broadcasting ( to Taiwan) bearing the stamps of "classified" and "provided to senior officers for reference." The "confidential" 5,840th edition of Records of Enemy's Broadcasting listed major items collected by "the 18th interception team," including intelligence that the French President was about to visit the "enemy area" on September 11 and "North Vietnam communist leader Le Duc Tho arrived in Beijing from Paris."

A photograph taken on the mainland reading: "Consciously resist reactionary broadcasting from Taiwan. No listening, no believing, no spreading," is also on display.

In 1971, the Taiwan authority expanded broadcasting battles and set up a broadcasting interception division at the Central Radio. A total of four groups took turns intercepting the mainland's broadcasts from 5:00 AM to 1:00 AM. They then compiled the records for intelligence research. The agents had to work overtime during the periods of National Day and ongoing sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC) to take down hundreds of names and relevant titles. The interception operation lasted until 1998.

There are three US-made radio transmitters in the broadcasting room. One is a 50HG-2 100 KW medium wave transmitter made by Westinghouse in 1950 and sent as a gift to Taiwan. On October 10, 1963, Chiang Ching-kuo presided over the inauguration ceremony of this transmitter in Min-shong Village. The transmitter broadcast to south China in Fujian and Hakka dialects for 30 years.

The other two short wave transmitters, 10 KW and 35 KW respectively, were both originally installed in US warships. Dubbed "Agent Transmitters," they came to Taiwan in 1960s for broadcasting battles. "When these two transmitters were at work, the broadcasters mimicked mainland accents and pretended to be programs from Shanghai or Shandong stations," revealed Huang Chi-hsiang, president of the Min-shong sub-station. "In order to disguise, we changed frequency every 15 minutes. The tapes used in broadcasting were recorded in Taipei. Every day, the tapes were handed to the head of the Taipei Railway Station by special agents who then came down to see the president of the Min-shong sub-station. After broadcasting, the tapes were sent back to Taipei immediately. The broadcasting through 'Agent Transmitters' lasted up to 1995."

"Since there is an increase of cross-Straits communication, we have deleted some inappropriate programs and added open-minded and multiple content. The exhibition reminds us not to repeat the history," said Huang. "We used to be an anti-CPC radio station, but now we wish to build a bridge across the Taiwan Straits."

( by Huang Shan, October 31, 2007)

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