The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) news agency Xinhua registered to do so “Foreign representative” under US law, more than two years after the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) ordered the registration.
According to data from the foreign agency office of the US Department of Justice, the Xinhua branch in the United States applied for registration under “Foreign Agent Registration Act ”(FARA) last Wednesday (May 5), became China’s third state media organization to register as a foreign representative, after CGTN – the US branch of Central Television ( CCTV) and China Daily – an English-language newspaper under the supervision of the CCP propaganda department.
In September 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that US officials were stepping up their efforts to counter foreign influences and reinforce their stances on the policies of the CCP. The US Department of Justice ordered two major CCP media organizations, the Xinhua News Agency and the CGTN, to register as foreign agents. After that, CGTN completed registration in February 2019, while Xinhua postponed the registration until 5/5/2021.
FARA documents show that between March 2020 and April 2021, Xinhua’s Beijing headquarters paid more than $ 8.6 million in operating expenses for its North American branch. This branch has 8 offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and San Francisco.
Since 2011, the Xinhua News Agency has rented a large screen in Times Square in New York to play advertisements, called “Chinese screen”. In February this year, the screen broadcast advertisements calling for solidarity in the fight against the pandemic, and at the same time spurred efforts by the Chinese Government (CCP) to fight the Chinese virus (also known as Wuhan, Covid-19) pneumonia on a global scale. But at the same time, the CCP is being criticized by many countries for its lack of transparency, including refusing to provide important data to the WHO expert team coming to Wuhan to investigate the origin of the virus.
file FARA submitted by the Xinhua News Agency did not have information on the costs associated with renting billboards, but said it paid more than $ 130,000 for “Fee for information dissemination” (communication fees) “Unknown” in the period from March 2020 to May 2021. The document does not say to whom these fees are paid.
In recent years, the issue of whether the CCP’s media activities in the United States have been complied with “Foreign Representative Registration Act” whether or not has aroused concerns of members of Congress. Before the lawmakers asked the Justice Department to investigate, the Xinhua News Agency did not file or disclose the relationship between the media and the CCP to the US Government.
Federal Republican Representative Jim Banks said in a letter to Attorney General William Barr in January 2020 that the official media of the CCP has not yet complied with the Water Representative Registration Act. out, “This issue is very worrying”, and added that “The Xinhua News Agency and the CCP have a long and deep relationship.”
As early as 2017, the US Congressional US-China Economic and Security Assessment Committee pointed out in a report, that the Xinhua News Agency “Not only participating in propaganda but also collecting information on domestic and international events, as well as writing confidential reports for Chinese leaders, plays a part in the functions of the agencies. Intelligence.”
Former Canadian Xinhua correspondent Mark Bourrie said that between 2010 and 2012, he was asked by the agency to gather intelligence on overseas critics. Once, he was asked to prepare the Dalai Lama’s file at a press conference in Ottawa, and was also asked to find out what the Dalai Lama had discussed in a private meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister. Stephen Harper.
When Mr. Bourrie asked the manager if these documents would be used for news reporting, the manager replied no.
Mr. Bourrien told the Epoch Times: “When they went to a two-day conference on Tibet, they took pictures and copied everything. It will not be a special publication but will belong to Chinese intelligence. “
The North American Xinhua News Agency has yet to respond to a request for comment from the Epoch Times, and the US Justice Department declined to comment.
United States passed “Foreign Agent Registration Act” (FARA) in 1938, required any entity engaged in lobbying or public relations activities for foreign organizations to register with the Justice Department and submit regular updates. Although subscribing does not affect the editorial content of the media channels, it is required that the registered organization disclose its budget and annual expenditures.
Cathy He, Epoch Times