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Major media outlets including CNN, NYT and WSJ attended private dinners by Chinese govt, accepted sponsored trips: Report

The events were organised by the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), a group funded by the Chinese Communist Party, in order to garner “favourable coverage” and “disseminate positive messages” regarding China, the report said.

All major outlets in western mainstream media attended private dinners and accepted sponsored trips from Chinese Communist propaganda front CUSEF, The National Pulse has reported. According to the report, journalists from CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times and MSNBC have participated in these private dinners and sponsored trips.

The events were organised by the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), a group funded by the Chinese Communist Party, in order to garner “favorable coverage” and “disseminate positive messages” regarding China.

Other media organisations are reported to include Forbes, the Financial Times, Newsweek, Bloomberg, Reuters, ABC News, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, AFP, TIME magazine, LA Times, The Hill, BBC, and The Atlantic.

As per the report, the relationship between the mainstream media and the CUSEF was revealed in the Department of Justice’s Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) filings. A 2014 FARA filing revealed that over 20 attendees from top western media organizations attended a private dinner by CUSEF.

Attendees at CUSEF dinner 2014 (Source: National Pulse)

CUSEF is reported to be a CCP initiative founded by Tung Chee Hwa. Tung is also the Vice-Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a key component of CCP’s United Front.

CUSEF pushes the Chinese Communist Party’s agenda, neutralises opposition: Report

American universities are also targeted by CUSEF with offers to fund policy research, high-level dialogues, and exchange programs. The objective of the United Front, as per a US Government report, is “to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party.” “The United Front strategy uses a range of methods to influence overseas Chinese communities, foreign governments, and other actors to take actions or adopt positions supportive of Beijing’s preferred policies,” it adds.

The CUSEF has been engaging in such efforts for well over a decade. A 2011 FARA filing highlighted by Axios described how CUSEF set out to “effectively disseminate positive messages to the media, key influencers and opinion leaders, and the general public” regarding China. The Chinese group had an agreement with an American lobbying firm BLJ.

There were similar events in the preceding years as well. It is only natural that such events influenced coverage by the western media as well, which has only been overeager to give China a pass for its role in the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic. It has also been morbidly biased against US President Trump and has unleashed a propaganda war against India as well.

The National Pulse noted, “Following the ongoing pressure campaigns, CUSEF has escaped significant criticism in the corporate press. There have only been a few mentions in broader pieces concerning Chinese Communist Party influence operations on American college campuses.”

Foreign Policy noted in an article, “CUSEF is a registered foreign agent bankrolled by a high-ranking Chinese government official with close ties to a sprawling Chinese Communist Party apparatus that handles influence operations abroad, known as the “united front.””

The article also stated, “As a registered foreign agent, in 2016 it spent just under $668,000 on lobbying, hiring the Podesta Group and other firms to lobby Congress on the topic of “China-U.S. relations.” The foundation has spent $510,000 on lobbying to date in 2017.” The Podesta Group mentioned here was founded by John Podesta and Tony Podesta.

John Podesta served as the White House Chief of Staff to US President Bill Clinton, Counselor to President Obama and the chair of Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign in 2016. He left the lobbying firm in 1993.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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