Beijing-controlled news agency China Daily has been discovered to have funnelled over $1.6 million in exchange for advertising campaigns in several western media companies such as Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, and Foreign Policy. The disclosures filed with the Justice Department showed that in the last six months, the Chinese government controlled news agency had paid millions of dollars to American newspapers and magazines to promote CCP propaganda.
The report was revealed by The Washington Free Beacon, which said that despite U.S. officials' warning about Beijing's propaganda activities, these western media companies continued to accept payments from the Chinese government-backed news agency. In fact, the Chinese news agency also spent another $1 million on the L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, and Houston Chronicle to print copies of their own publications.
China Daily was found to have increased its advertising budget by over 36% in the last six months, from $3.3 million to more than $4.5 million, the latest foreign agent disclosure revealed. About $700,000 was spent for advertising in Time magazine, $272,000 for the Los Angeles Times, $291,000 for Foreign Policy, and $371,577 for Financial Times. However, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post have cut ties with China Daily in recent years following complaints that they were promoting CCP propaganda.
According to WND, China Daily has paid Time magazine to run "paid partner content" but the latter has failed to disclose that such content is sponsored by CCP. In fact one of the more recent published "paid partner content" features an interview with U.S. diplomat Charles Freeman, who is linked to the controversial foreign policy think tank Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, which is backed by billionaires Charles Koch and George Soros.
In it, Freeman recounts his visit to China when he worked as a chief interpreter for President Richard Nixon in 1972. He said, "I knew China would change, but I never imagined how much and how fast it has changed."
But China isn't only using its millions to further CCP propaganda through western media. It's also conducting damage control following the negative image they've garnered following the COVID-19 pandemic that began within their borders. According to Voice Of America, research published this month by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) found that the CCP used foreign media to "reset its public image."
The report showed that among 54 journalist unions in 50 countries who were surveyed, 75% reported a "visible Chinese presence in their media" compared to just 64% last year. The survey also showed that in Europe, there was the greatest positive change of coverage of China since the beginning of the pandemic at 6.3, compared to North America's mostly negative change score of 3.5.
IFJ deputy general secretary Jeremy Dear said, "The coronavirus story over the past 12 months has been successfully used by China to create a more positive image of China, in a number of countries."
Earlier reports citing ChinaAid founder Bob Fu also indicated that China has allotted millions to pay western media outlets to promote CCP propaganda overseas.
These media companies, which include the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters and the Associated Press, among others, posted "advertisements" portraying the Chinese Communist Party as "democratic" as opposed to dictatorial, and that the life the Chinese have under the CCP is "beautiful" as opposed to what it really is - terrible.
The advertisements were also meant to distract or divert people away from the fact that the CCP is committing grave human rights violations by persecuting Christians and other religious groups, and working to eradicate Uyghur muslims in Xinjiang.