An expert review of foreign agent registration filings has concluded that several major mainstream media outlets have published paid advertisements disguised as straight news articles by China’s communist state-run media outlet, China Daily.
The paid-for ads appeared in both online and print editions of esteemed publications like The New York Times and the Washington Post.
Per the Washington Free Beacon:
China Daily, an official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, has published hundreds of propaganda articles designed to look like ordinary news stories in some of America’s most influential newspapers. While foreign agents may place ads in the United States, the propaganda outlet has repeatedly violated the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) by failing to provide full disclosures about its purchases.
China Daily has published propaganda in mainstream outlets for decades, but did not disclose its purchases of space in American newspapers to the Department of Justice until 2012. Even after it began acknowledging its relationship with the papers, the regime mouthpiece continued to violate federal disclosure requirements. China Daily has failed to provide breakdowns of spending activities and withheld copies of online ads, among other omissions that violate federal law, according to experts who reviewed years of its FARA filings.
The Washington Free Beacon reviewed all of the physical copies of China Daily‘s ads filed with the DOJ, as well as online ads the propaganda outlet did not submit to the department. China Daily has run more than 700 online ads designed to look like news articles and purchased 500 print pages in six American newspapers over the last seven years. These propaganda articles frame state oppression in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong in a positive light and run alongside actual news stories produced by reporters at the Post, Times, Wall Street Journal, and other outlets.
Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has frequently criticized China Daily, arguing that the newspaper should not be distributed to the offices of members of Congress. He said American newspapers traded credibility for ad revenue.
Banks was unequivocal in his disgust, saying, “These outlets claim to support democracy, but they’ve participated in a cover-up for an ongoing communist-run genocide.”