Chinese mouthpiece China Daily continues paying US Media Outlets millions of US Dollars to publish its propaganda. How much they would be paying worldwide?
As per a report published in Epoch Times, China Daily, the Chinese regime’s propaganda outlet, has spent millions for the past six months on U.S. publications, according to its statement (pdf) filed last week with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
Past six months statement filed by China Daily in PDF format filed with Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) can be downloaded here :-
According to the statement, China Daily’s overall expenses from 1-May to 31-October this year were above $4.4 million, in which around $3.1 million was spent on printing, advertising, and distribution, and about $1.3 million for payrolls and other operating expenses.
The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, the Seattle Times are some of the notable receivers.
Los Angeles Times received $340,000 for advertisements and $111,501 for printing newspapers in the past six months.
Over the past few years, China Daily has spent millions running supplements—called “China Watch”—containing propaganda disguised as news in major U.S. media outlets. These supplements are inserted as advertisements in newspapers or paid programs online.
However, scholars researching Chinese influence activities in the United States said in a 2018 report (pdf) that “it’s hard to tell that China Watch’s material is an ad.”
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 US homebuyers” that that asserted that US tariffs on Chinese lumber would raise the cost of building homes in the United States.
As per a report published in business-standard.com in June 2020, as per the Justice Department reports, China Daily also paid for advertising in several other newspapers, including The New York Times ($50,000), Foreign Policy ($240,000), The Des Moines Register ($34,600) and CQ-Roll Call (USD76,000).
It spent a total of $11,002,628 on advertising in US newspapers, and another $265,822 on advertising with Twitter.
The Justice Department has for years required China Daily to disclose its activities semi-annually under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The first filing, which China Daily submitted on June 1, was the first to include detailed breakdowns of payments to American news outlets. The outlet disclosed those expenditures for the period between November 2016 and April 2020.
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.
Pro-democracy groups have long warned about the Chinese government’s attempts to push propaganda through American news outlets.
The report comes at a time when China Daily as well as other Beijing-controlled propaganda media outlets have come under intense scrutiny owing to 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. Many of the regime-controlled outlets, including China Daily, have echoed the communist leaders’ talking points.
The second filing came on 11-November 2020 that is the most recent filing.
On Feb. 18, China Daily and four other media outlets from China were designated as Foreign Missions by the Department of State. On June 22, the Department of State designated another four news outlets from China as Foreign Missions.
“[General Secretary Xi Jinping] said ‘Party-owned media must. . . embody the party’s will, safeguard the party’s authority … their actions must be highly consistent with the party,’ in short, while Western media are beholden to the truth, PRC media are beholden to the Chinese Communist Party,” Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in her statement in June.
China Daily’s previous financial filings (pdf) with the Justice Department showed that it paid more than $4.6 million to The Washington Post and nearly $6 million to the Wall Street Journal since November 2016. It also showed the outlet paid The New York Times $50,000 in 2018.
The Washington Post and The New York Times stopped running the advertising insert early this year.
The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, and the LA Times didn’t immediately respond to requests for comments from The Epoch Times.
According to China Daily’s recent filing, for the past six months, its total subscription and advertisement income was only $123,700.56. However, the “Fund from Headquarter Office” was $4,416,133.35, accounting for about 97.3 percent of total income.
China Daily is headquartered in Beijing, China. It is owned by the Publicity Department, an internal division of the CCP (China Communist Party).
Same complaints have been made by people in other countries. Here is an example of the newspaper clipping shared by a social media user from India :-
Strategic thinker and a Defence expert Brahma chellaney with Twitter handle @Chellaney had also written about this in the past. On October 5, 2020 he tweeted, “Media manipulation, disinformation and lawfare are key tools in China’s hybrid warfare against India. China last week planted a story in a leading Indian daily through its Beijing correspondent that resurrected a hazy 1959 claim line to help justify its encroachments since April. Blending disinformation with lawfare, this claim (a red herring) has achieved its aim of sparking a debate in India on China’s intentions, without Beijing even stating this claim on record. After this plant, China placed full-page ads on Oct. 1 in another Indian newspaper group.”
In the past China has also issued media guidelines to Indian Media in regards to Peoples Republic of China or Taiwan and the President of Taiwan.
Points to Ponder
The above figures are only related to the money paid by China to US based media outlets. Can you imagine the money China would be paying to media outlets in other countries?
Will the other countries order similar statements to be filed by the Chinese Publications in their countries for transparency?
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