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  You're here: Culture > First Overseas Broadcasting Announcers
First Overseas Broadcasting Announcers
  China's overseas broadcasting started from a cave in Yan'an on December 3, 1941. On that day, Japanese announcer Hara Kiyoko rode to the studio on a donkey.
AT 8:40pm local time on September 11, 1947, the voice of liberated China reached the outside world in an English-language broadcast for the first. It came from a cave in the small village of Shahe, nestling in the Taihang Mountains, north China. The news read by a young pigtailed woman named Wei Lin who is now 81.

"The studio was in a doorless cave with no proper equipment," says Ms. Wei, "and only a kerosene lantern for lighting. Whenever we started broadcasting, we had to hang up a coarse felt blanket to keep out the bleating of nearby sheep". There were no tape recorders then-the only music they could use was a phonograph recording of the

Wei Lin, the First
English Woman
Triumphal March from the opera Aida. Other songs were simply into the microphone.

Wei Lin retired in 1983, but volunteered to do part-time work for our English Service. She can still be heard on the air occasionally conducting the programs of Chinese Sayings and Stories and Culture in China till 1994.

Wei has seen the rickety wartime broadcasting station evolve into Radio Beijng (the former name of CRI) and now CRI, and herself growing up to be a first-rate English announcer.

Hara Kiyoko, Back to Yan'an in 1990's

Former CRI president Zhang Zhenhua greets Wei Lin at the special ceremony for her 50 years of broadcasting.