Foreign Affairs

China Publishes Propaganda Disguised As News In American Newspapers

China Daily, which is an organ of the Chinese Communist Party, has published hundreds of articles designed to look like regular news stories in American newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, according to a report by The Washington Free Beacon.

While the act of an agent of a foreign country publishing advertising in the US is not a violation of American law, such an agent is nevertheless required to report how much it purchases, details on what it purchases, and provide copies of its propaganda to the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Foreign Agent Registration Act – which China did not do for decades.

Prior to 2012, China did not report to the DOJ at all, despite the fact that it is known that China has been purchasing advertising in American newspapers since at least the early 1980s. Since 2012, when they began reporting, the records show that they have purchased more than 700 online advertisements and 500 more in newspapers to date, all of which were designed to look like objective news reports. And even though the Chinese are now reporting their spending to the DOJ as per the law, the Beacon discovered that the reports do not offer breakdowns of how their money is being spent – which is also a violation of federal law.

The reports do reveal that China Daily had been provided with $11.8 million from the Chinese government in 2019 alone.

The newspapers involved refused to disclose how much money they have accepted from China Daily in return for advertising space, but it has been estimated to be in the millions.

China Daily stories typically push Beijing’s view on politics, promote tourism in China, or else depict Chinese policies in a positive light. An example of the kinds of stories they publish are those which try to show China’s ongoing invasion and occupation of Tibet, which elsewhere is widely regarded as oppressive, as a good thing for Tibet’s people.

And in the months before the 2018 midterm elections in the US, China Daily published ads that were critical of President Trump’s trade war with China in a number of American periodicals. The President himself noticed the attacks and wrote tweets calling attention to the fact that China was placing propaganda in American newspapers.

While the advertisements are legally required to indicate that they are the product of China Daily, nothing in the disclaimers indicates that China Daily is in fact an institution of the Chinese Communist Party.

The fact that The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal have all taken Chinese money in return for running its propaganda looks especially ironic today, when all three had their reporters expelled from China by the government as part of the country’s response to hostile rhetoric from Washington regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

It is to be hoped that America will take more strident measures to limit the flow of foreign propaganda into the US so that our media elite can’t sell out American interests for the sake of advertising revenue.

Foreign Affairs
13 Comments on this post.
  • Allen morgan
    7 April 2020 at 4:11 pm
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    The Communist Chinese dictatorship are among the best propagandists in the world. Like American lefist-Democrats they lie, lie again, and then lie continually. The UN has supported their lies and deceptions.

  • Dick Cress
    7 April 2020 at 4:24 pm
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    Why the hell would anyone pay any attention to a Chinese Newspaper Reporting . . . or Americain either.

  • Richard L Cummings
    7 April 2020 at 4:35 pm
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    Jokes on them.. No one reads a newspaper any more.

  • Philip
    7 April 2020 at 5:19 pm
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    I think that the newspapers that are taking this money should be fined for encouraging China to use thei papers for their proper gander and should have to put information in any advertisements the origin of the ad or article so anyone reading! Maybe people will see where those papers are getting their monies from!

  • Erickson Laurie
    7 April 2020 at 9:35 pm
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    I think we should ban China. We were much better off without their crap

  • Arielle Lancaster
    7 April 2020 at 10:21 pm
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    Until recently, I never realized how evil, and manipulative the Chinese Communist Government actually is !

  • Glenn S
    7 April 2020 at 11:44 pm
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    Why do we care whether the “media elite” (PC-speak for the Lying Liberal media) sell out American interests for advertising revenue, when they do it for free all the time pushing Demorrhoid propoganda? Frankly at least we know on which side China’s interests lie – their own. I’d rather have an honest enemy than the lying friends that American liberal media pretend to be.

  • Bill
    8 April 2020 at 1:55 am
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    China playing right into the left liberals agenda. They welcome anything from anywhere as loge as it follows there anti-Trump/Republican agenda.

    8 April 2020 at 3:57 am
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    Dont you just hate it when the Chinese copy our news media’s dirty tricks ?

  • Elizabeth Estrada
    8 April 2020 at 4:17 pm
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    SHAME on AmeriCAN NEWSPApERS who SELL OUT to the CHINESE GOVT. LOOKS LIKe they will do Anything for a BUCK. The President of AMERICA finds out who his friends are and the BACKSTABBERS. I STAND by President TRUMP 100%. My BLESSING is with HIM. I have the POWER to BLESS and to CURSE. GOD gave me that AUTHORITY. From Samurai QUEEN aka CHIAKIA.

  • Disgusted
    8 April 2020 at 6:11 pm
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    It’s time we cut China off.. they seem to be making nothing but trouble for America. We need to start buying american-made stuff and stop buying from China..

  • Mike
    18 April 2020 at 5:51 pm
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    China is the backbone of th democrat party. All it took was money.

  • A Swain
    26 April 2020 at 4:53 pm
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    Well, as long as Communists and Muslims are allowed to continue invading the US en masse adding to their numbers already here and occupying educational institutions and political and legislative posts, to holding high tech/science and medical positions, and owning real estate, (privileges that would NEVER be permitted to foreigners in China or its enclaves nor in Muslim countries), the the US and the West, in general, is going to get taken over by one or both.

    Eventually both camps will be set on an inevitable collision course for total dominance.

  • Leave a Reply

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