VOA Mandarin TV programs on hard-hitting political content prompted a sharp increase in social media engagement. At a time when the Chinese Communist Party was rapidly consolidating power and severely limiting freedom of speech, VOA Mandarin’s unique coverage of major events impacting U.S. – China relations and Chinese political life served as an indispensable source of facts and candid discussion of issues important to the Chinese people. One episode of the weekly TV program Pro & Con, which discussed the unprecedented constitutional change during the 19th Party Congress, received 670,000 views. Overall, the VOA Mandarin video program generated over 65 million YouTube views, 16 million Facebook views and 17 million media views on Twitter in 2017. Audience interactions exceeded 9 million on the three platforms. These numbers represent a dramatic increase over previous years and show that the Mandarin Service is providing content the Chinese audience wants and needs.