CNN, CNBC, AP Met With Chinese Propagandist Last Month

The propagandists have been flagged by the government as potentially seeking influence in the U.S.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Prominent American news organizations, including CNN, CNBC, and the Associated Press (AP), met with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propagandists, according to reports.
  • The mainstream media figures met with a group who have been accused by the American government of trying to “malignly influence” American politics.
  • The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), which is a component of China’s multibillion-dollar “United Front” push, was met by the bureau heads for AP, CNN, and CNBC.
  • The United Front aims “to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party” according to the U.S. government’s U.S.-China Security and Economic Review Commission.
  • The United Front is also said to be attempting to “influence foreign governments to take actions or adopt positions supportive of Beijing’s preferred policies,” according to the federal U.S.-China Security and Economic Review Commission.
STATEMENT FROM CPAFFC’S CHINESE-LANGUAGE WEBSITE:
  • “On July 26, President Lin Songtian met with Mori Tsijian, Director of the Greater China News Department of the Associated Press (AP), Jiang Xin, the Beijing Bureau Chief of CNN, and American Consumers at the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries,” the CPAFFC’s Chinese-language website states.
  • “Representative of mainstream American media in Beijing, including CNBC. The two sides had a candid and friendly exchange of views on China’s domestic and foreign policies, China-US relations, non-governmental exchanges between the two countries and issues of common concern, which enhanced mutual understanding and friendship,” the CCP connected organization said of the American mainstream media networks.
  • The CPAFFC President seemed to go on to instruct members of the media to portray China as the United States ally instead of a competitor to avoid “misjudgment and misleading public opinion, ” saying, “In today’s era of political multi-polarization, economic globalization, and democratization of international relations, the United States still views China from the outdated perspective of ‘you lose, we win, and either friend or enemy is an enemy.'”
  • “Positioning China as a major competitor will inevitably lead to strategic misunderstandings, misjudgment and misleading public opinion.”
BACKGROUND:
  • The CPAFFC is considered the “public face” of the United Front Work Department and is known to be part of the party-state running the country of China.
  • They include groups such as the China United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), which has used tactics including free trips to China to garner “favorable coverage” for their nation.
  • This combined with the mainstream media’s positive coverage of the Chinese Communist Party has caused concern about whether the United States agencies are potentially propping up the CCP’s agenda.