The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has radically boosted its efforts to influence Americans with propaganda in recent years, Axios reported Tuesday.
China has reportedly increased funding for propaganda efforts targeting the U.S. by more than 500 percent between 2016 and 2021, with annual spending rising from $10 million and $64 million. The efforts have ranged from spreading misinformation and panic surrounding the coronavirus pandemic to funding CCP-operated news organizations in the U.S. The increase made China the single largest spender on foreign influence in the U.S., according to Axios. (RELATED: Did Joe Biden Say He Won’t Speak Out Against Chinese Genocide? Not Quite)
The CCP-operated Xinhua news organization registered its U.S.-branch as a foreign agent in early May, three years after the federal government ordered it to do so. The filing unveiled $8.6 million in funding from the branch’s parent company in China, according to Axios.
Former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden both prioritized curbing China’s efforts to grow its influence internationally, though Biden has adopted far less aggressive language. Biden and Secretary of State Tony Blinken argue that developing and strengthening alliances in Asia are the key to cutting off China’s ambitions.
Biden has framed the struggle between the two countries as one that will determine whether democracy or autocracy leads the world into the future.
BIDEN: “I have known Xi Jinping a long time. Allegedly, by the time I left office as Vice President I had spent more time with Xi Jinping than any other world leader…he is a smart, smart guy.” pic.twitter.com/f4bun3MDXQ
— Danny De Urbina (@dannydeurbina) March 25, 2021
Biden’s administration has condemned China’s ongoing genocide against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang as well as its destruction of Democracy in Hong Kong. The administration teamed with Canada, the U.K., and the E.U. to impose sanctions against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials in Xinjiang. Biden has yet to impose any wide-reaching sanctions or other punishments on China, however.
Biden’s foreign policy team has also revitalized the Quad alliance between the U.S. and allies near China, including Australia, Japan and India. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has warned that the organization is “not the new NATO,” however.
Blinken and other officials have emphasized the importance of digging into alliances to counter the CCP, as well as calling for a closer look at the persecution of Uighurs.
“The more China hears not just our opprobrium, but a chorus of opprobrium from around the world, the better the chance that we’ll get some changes,” Blinken said. “It would be very important if China claims that there is nothing going on that it give access to the international community, to the United Nations. If they have nothing to hide, show it to us. Show the world.”