Communist China is no friend of the United States. That much is clear.
What is less well-known by many people is just how far they have infiltrated its mainstream media. New reporting has brought to light how many of our richest media chains are going to private dinners and on sponsored trips with the goal of pushing them to cover China in a positive way.
Chinese-Funded Group Woos Big News Companies
Specifically, the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) has paid for lavish dinners and sponsored trips for members of many mainstream media groups in order to help influence them to having “positive coverage” of Communist China. The foundation is funded by the CCP, and journalists from the New York Times, Washington Post, the Hill, Financial Times, Forbes, Reuters, ABC, the Economist, TIME, LA Times, BBC, the Atlantic, MSNBC and Bloomberg have all taken part, in addition to other outlets.
Data in the FARA (Foreign Agent Registration Act) shows that CUSEF has been working for more than ten years to get its teeth into mainstream news and universities where it runs exchange programs, discussion groups and research – all with the aim of spinning it to be pro-China.
CUSEF was started by a man called Tung Chee Hwa who is also VP of a high-ranking department of the Communist Party’s United Work Front. According to the US government, the main objective of this department is to “neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party.”
In order to do this, it “uses a range of methods to influence overseas Chinese communities, foreign governments, and other actors to take actions or adopt positions supportive of Beijing’s preferred policies.”
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) December 31, 2020
China’s US News Strategy is Paying Off
The available information shows that Hwa’s efforts to indoctrinate American news into being pro-China propaganda is paying off. CUSEF works with a US company called BLJ to spread a generally good view of China among journalists and even students studying to become journalists at university, paying for trips to China where they see the positive side of the authoritarian communist regime.
Over 103 articles were published via BLJ in places like the Chicago Tribune, the progressive magazine the Nation and US News and World Report in 2009 alone. BLJ also arranged four high-profile journalists to visit China on their paid trip.
Many Universities such as the University of Texas have parted ways with CUSEF and don’t allow it to operate there anymore, but many media outlets still take part in private dinners and on trips to China.
Who Attended the China Trips and Dinners?
The specific individuals who have traveled to China is still under investigation, but it’s clear that many centrist and left-leaning organizations took place. For example, an article in Vox had an article by Yochi Dreazen that noted that he wrote it while on a CUSEF-sponsored trip in China.
Many journalists who attended the trips and dinners were mid-level, although senior leadership clearly signed off on the collaboration.
A quick browse through CUSEF’s website shows how they glamorize and flatter students who take part in trips, pumping their Ivy League egos to tell them they are part of something progressive, educational and cutting-edge.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with going on trips to countries around the world in order to learn more about the culture, politics and economic situation. The problem is clearly that these outlets have been going on trips and attending functions paid for with CCP money as part of a Communist propaganda operation.
The next time they turn on the nightly news Americans deserve to hear direct and sincere explanations of what exactly is going on.