Chinese Regime Uses State-Run Media to Export its Values: Analyst

Kevin Hogan
By Kevin Hogan
March 1, 2020US News

NEW YORK—The “number one job” of Chinese state-run news outlets is to export propaganda and infiltrate the United States and other countries in the West with “class struggle” ideology, according to an analyst.

This analysis comes after the Department of State recently designated five Chinese media entities as foreign missions and capped the number of personnel that the entities can have working in the United States at any given time.

Heng He, a senior political analyst on China for The Epoch Times, said the designation is not a matter of freedom of speech, but a matter of infiltration by a hostile foreign power.

“Not only [do they] export the human rights violation, [they] export their values, and they will have a strong influence on our society, on our values,” Heng He told NTD.

Heng He added that the United States is built upon the values of its Founding Fathers, such as all men are created equal, but the Chinese regime’s ideology is much different.

“They believe they need [to] change the world, [to] destroy the whole world and establish a totally new world, and the new world [would be] based on the Marxism, Leninism, and in China, it’s Mao Zedong thought, and those are the class struggle. They make enemies, and they ask the people to make enemies [with] each other and then fight each other. That’s called class struggle,” he said.

Class struggle is a tactic the regime uses to gain and maintain power by designating a certain class or part of society as enemies of the state.

For example, the Chinese Communist Party has persecuted Uyghur Muslims living in the Xinjiang region of China for decades. In 2009, bloody clashes erupted in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, stemming from the systematic discrimination of the Uyghurs.

China blamed Uyghur separatists for the deaths and justifies its persecution by saying it is necessary to prevent Islamic extremism.

The persecution is part of a larger campaign by the regime “to suppress any ethnic, cultural or religious identities that might compete for popular loyalty with the Chinese Communist Party,” according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Currently, there are and estimated 1.5 million Uyghurs, who are or have been detained in internment camps in the Xinjiang region. The estimate is based on satellite images, public spending records, and witness accounts.

Not only does the regime use propaganda within China to cover up its human rights abuses, but it also extends its influence overseas.

According to Heng He, the regime takes advantage of western societies’ freedom of speech to promote its agenda. None of the five media outlets immediately responded to requests for comment.

“Inside the party, there is a department designated to control all the media. It’s called [the] Department of Propaganda,” Heng He said. “Of course, they changed the name. They changed the name [to the] Department of Publicity. But, you know, [the] Department of Propaganda is exactly word by word translated from Chinese. They just want to hide their real nature.”

The agencies classified on Feb. 18 as foreign missions are Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network (CGTN), China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation, and Hai Tian Development USA, which distributes People’s Daily in the United States.

As foreign missions, the Chinese state-run media outlets are now required to report information on their personnel and real estate to the U.S. government, under the Foreign Missions Act of 1982 (pdf), which serves in part to protect national security interests.

The designation also allows for more “transparency” in dealing with these agencies that are not independent journalistic outlets but “organs of the Chinese one-party state propaganda apparatus,” according to a State Department official.

On Monday, the State Department placed a cap on the number of employees these five media agencies can have in the United States.

In addition to spreading Chinese Communist Party ideology, the personnel of these state-run media agencies sometimes serve another purpose—to work as undercover intelligence collectors, according to the analyst.

Heng He reports that the Chinese regime sent an intelligence agent disguised as a reporter to the United States, who later defected to the United States. Heng He said this type of espionage is a common practice of the Chinese Communist Party.

Furthermore, Heng He explains that Chinese state-run media broadcast forced confessions of foreigners or dissidents.

For example, a former British Consulate employee in Hong Kong told UK regulators on Nov. 27, 2019 that he was tortured by Chinese police for information on protesters, and that CGTN aired his forced confession.

“At this time, it’s not even propaganda; it’s part of the suppression machine,” said Heng He.

In 2018, the Justice Department told Xinhua and China Global Television Network to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (pdf). That is the same act that prevented Nazi propaganda from being spread in the United States.

The analyst said this law hasn’t been enforced since World War II because there hasn’t been a need to worry about foreign propaganda—until now.

Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KRHogan_NTD

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