Washington Post Critical Of Chinese Influence Campaign While Spreading Chinese Propaganda

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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The Washington Post has written two pieces in the past week drawing attention to the dangers of China’s foreign influence campaign, yet the newspaper appears to be complicit in advancing Chinese interests.

“The foreign influence campaign is part and parcel of China’s larger campaign for global power,” a Post opinion writer wrote Sunday, “Beijing’s strategy is first to cut off critical discussion of China’s government, then to co-opt American influencers in order to promote China’s narrative.”

“By influencing the influencers, China gets Americans to carry its message to other Americans,” the editorial explained, citing Glenn Tiffert, a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution.

The Washington Post, an unquestionably influential publication, regularly features Chinese propaganda. The Post’s China Watch insert is written and paid for by the state-run China Daily. While the prominent newspaper acknowledges that China Watch is an “advertising supplement” prepared by the Communist Party’s English-language mouthpiece and the People’s Republic of China in its print edition, the China Watch website lacks any clear indication that the information is of Chinese origin.

The China Watch insert has been published in The Post for years, but the newspaper has never revealed how much it is being paid to run the “advertisements,” despite requests from The Daily Caller News Foundation. The government-run China Daily refers to itself as the “Voice of China on the Global Stage,” and the Chinese government instructs Chinese media outlets operating abroad to “tell China stories well.”

A foreign affairs writer for The Post wrote an article Thursday on a congressional hearing held Wednesday on the “long arm” of China’s influence, highlighting the opinions of political leaders critical of China’s efforts to bolster its international influence, sometimes at the expense of other countries.

The news article made several references to the earlier piece, quoting parts of the editorial. The report presented the ideas of congressional figures and experts as well.

The Chinese influence campaign “directly threatens our most deeply held values and our national interest,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio argued at the hearing. “The Chinese government has spent tens of billions of dollars to shape norms, narratives, and attitudes in other countries,” Shanthi Kalathil of the National Endowment for Democracy said at the same event.

In The Post report published Sunday, the writer explained that “China’s overriding goal is, at the least, to defend its authoritarian system from attack and at most to export it to the world at America’s expense.”

The Washington Post did not respond to Daily Caller News Foundation requests for comment.


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