Documents filed with the Justice Department give us a clue as to exactly why the left wing American media has such a soft spot for the Chinese Communist Party.
The documents reveal that one of China’s most prominent propaganda outlets has paid American newspapers roughly $19 million for “advertising and printing expenses” in the time since Donald Trump has become president.
China Daily, an English-language newspaper controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, has paid more than $4.6 million to The Washington Post and nearly $6 million to The Wall Street Journal since November 2016 – both left wing media outlets. the records show.
Both newspapers have published paid supplements that China Daily produces called “China Watch.” The inserts are designed to look like real news articles, though they often contain a pro-Beijing spin on contemporary news events.
One insert from September 2018 touted an initiative pushed by Chinese President Xi Jinping with the headline: “Belt and Road aligns with African nations.” The same insert ran a story titled “Tariffs to take toll on U.S. homebuyers” that asserted that U.S. tariffs on Chinese lumber would raise the cost of building homes in the United States.
China Daily didn’t stop with just those two newspapers however, spending a total of $11,002,628 on advertising in U.S. newspapers, including other papers: The New York Times ($50,000), Foreign Policy ($240,000), The Des Moines Register ($34,600) and CQ-Roll Call ($76,000).
The propaganda arm of the Chinese government also spent $265,822 on advertising with Twitter.
China Daily has also paid out more than $7.6 million to newspapers and printing companies for its newspaper for U.S.-based readers, the Justice Department’s filings show. The Los Angeles Times, The Seattle Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Chicago Tribune, The Houston Chronicle and The Boston Globe are all listed as clients of China Daily. The Chinese outlet paid the Los Angeles Times $657,523 for printing services, according to the FARA filings.
China Daily has, however, slowed its advertising expenditures in recent months, the filings show.
The Justice Department has for years required China Daily to disclose its activities semi-annually under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The most recent filing, which China Daily submitted on June 1, is the first to include detailed breakdowns of payments to American news outlets.
Pro-democracy groups have long warned about the Chinese government’s attempts to push propaganda through American news outlets. Freedom House and the Hoover Institution have both drawn attention to China Daily’s paid inserts in reports on the Chinese government’s efforts to influence the media.
China Daily and other Beijing-controlled propaganda mills have come under intense scrutiny amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Chinese government officials have tried to divert blame for the spread of the virus to the United States and other Western nations, particularly attacking President Trump – something that the mainstream media has been all to happy to help with.
Many of the regime-controlled outlets, including China Daily, have echoed the communist leaders’ talking points.