Commentary / Coronavirus

How China Quietly Infiltrates American Life

ChinaAs the world continues to battle the terrible COVID-19 pandemic that began in Wuhan, China, it also must battle the lack of information or outright disinformation coming from the government where the new coronavirus originated.

If it wasn’t already clear before the coronavirus outbreak, China is particularly aggressive in how it tries to control the spread of information, not just in regard to its own citizens, but people around the globe.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put these efforts on overdrive.

One eye-opener came when President Donald Trump got aggressive last week with a reporter from Phoenix Television, who first stated that Chinese companies such as Huawei and Alibaba have donated supplies to the U.S.

Then she asked the president:  “Are you cooperating with China?”

Trump responded by asking if she worked for China or if her company is owned by the Chinese state.

Despite her denial, the answer essentially is “yes.”

But Beijing’s influence is far wider than one small-time media outlet that most Americans never heard of.

Here are four major fronts on which China’s communist regime tries to spread influence and propaganda outside its borders.

News Media

While many mainstream American media outlets allow themselves to be platforms for Chinese government propaganda, some work directly for the People’s Republic of China.

Many of these publications have been working overtime as the Chinese government attempts to distract attention from its early handling of the COVID-19 outbreak and continues to mislead the world about what’s happening in China.

Peter Hasson, a reporter for The Daily Caller News Foundation, laid out what exactly Phoenix TV is and how it’s connected to the communist government of China.

Hasson found that, according to the outlet’s 2018 interim report, China Wise International Limited, a subsidiary of a bank run by the Chinese government, owns a minority stake in Phoenix TV.

Although Phoenix TV is not directly run by the Chinese government, it effectively is controlled by the government. The Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank, listed Phoenix TV in its review of the Chinese-language media landscape.

Hoover called Phoenix TV, which is based in mainland China as well as Hong Kong, a “quasi-official” media outlet of the Chinese government “with links to the [People’s Republic of China’s] Ministry of State Security.”

Despite this, the reporter who questioned Trump is a part of the White House Foreign Press Group and has regular access to press briefings at the White House.

As the Hoover Institution noted, however, Phoenix TV is hardly alone, as there are numerous other outlets directly or indirectly tied to the Chinese government.

One of those is China Daily, an official outlet for the Chinese government, which for decades has aggressively published propaganda in major newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that China Daily repeatedly violates the Foreign Agents Registration Act “by failing to provide full disclosures about its purchases.”

Social Media

China has, of course, exerted its influence over social media and other widely used platforms.

TikTok, a rapidly growing social media app that allows users to post short videos, has come under scrutiny for its connection to China. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a company based in China, though the service—like countless other social media and internet platforms—isn’t available in its home country.

But TikTok has a massive audience overseas. The app had been downloaded over 750 million times in a year, The New York Times reported in late 2019.

The parent company denies any kind of censorship or tracking of data; however, many accuse TikTok of doing both.

“There continues to be ample and growing evidence that TikTok’s platform for Western markets, including those in the U.S., is censoring content that is not in line with the Chinese Government and Communist Party directives,” wrote Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in a letter to the Treasury Department in October 2019.

The U.S. government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has launched an investigation into TikTok.

Zoom, which has become a massively popular video service in the time of the coronavirus, has had issues protecting customers from Chinese spies, U.S. intelligence officials told Time magazine.

“More than anyone else, the Chinese are interested in what American companies are doing,” Time quoted one of the anonymous officials as saying.

In particular, Zoom’s encryption service is what opens up the potential for Chinese spying. According to reports, as of April 18, the company will begin letting customers decide not to route their data through China, which Zoom’s CEO admitted was happening before.

Hollywood Movies

The NBA isn’t the only organization that has become reliant on China’s business to the point that it is willing to let the communist regime intimidate its employees into censoring themselves.

Hollywood’s connections to communist China now run deep.

As The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Gonzalez said on the “Heritage Explains” podcast, China has enormous power in Hollywood to shape what audiences there and elsewhere see.

The Chinese assert this power by funding movies, including blockbusters such as Tom Cruise’s “Mission Impossible: Fallout” in 2018, and demanding censorship so that movie studios can get access to the vast Chinese market.

“American audiences are being submitted to censorship, not our own censorship, but a foreign power’s censorship, and a Communist Party censorship,” Gonzalez said. “But we get shown a very benign view of China, in which China is a normal country, no different from Paris, or Britain, or Germany. That is not the case, obviously. If you speak against the government in Germany, nothing happens to you. If you speak against the government in China, they’ll throw you in jail.”

Not only do movie studios bow to censorship, but they now preemptively self-censor to avoid the potential for losing Chinese sales and funding.

The takeover of Hollywood is just one element of how China uses our culture-making industries to promote its agenda.

College Campuses

Since 2003, hundreds of so-called Confucius Institutes have opened on college campuses around the United States. Their activities have included pressuring schools to shut down events featuring the Dalai Lama and generally shaping the narrative about Tibet, the Tiananmen Square massacre, and the existence of Taiwan.

The Confucius Institutes actually have little to do with Confucius, the ancient Chinese philosopher.

As Charles Horner wrote for the Claremont Review of Books, it would be more accurate to call them the “Mao Zedong Institutes,” after the China’s first communist dictator.

Although the Confucius Institutes operate under the guise of education, Horner noted, “they are really about keeping tabs on Chinese students in America, spreading propaganda, meddling in American politics generally, and performing espionage.”

A Chinese minister of propaganda, Liu Yunshan, said in 2010 that the institutes have a mission: “Coordinate the efforts of overseas and domestic propaganda, [and] further create a favorable international environment for us.”

According to Politico, Yunshan wrote:

With regard to key issues that influence our sovereignty and safety, we should actively carry out international propaganda battles against issuers such as Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan, human rights and Falun Gong.  … We should do well in establishing and operating overseas cultural centers and Confucius Institutes.

After Congress passed a bill limiting funding to schools that have a Confucius Institute, many of the institutes closed around the country.

In coming days, Americans and others around the world would do well to reexamine their connection and vulnerability to China’s ruthless communist government, which, in controlling its own population, injected a deadly pandemic into the global bloodstream.

Reprinted with Permission from - Daily Signal by - Jarrett Stepman

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Shoe
3 months ago

This virus has raised our awareness to how dependent we have become on Chinese goods – especially on who makes our drugs. President Trump was previously pressuring American companies to bring their manufacturing back home. This would have been even worse without his vision.
Who knew that one of our largest pork processors had been sold to a Chinese company under the Obama administration‼️😳🤯 Makes me mad as hell🤬

TomB
3 months ago

Looks like President Trump hit the “target” again, Even during the primaries (2015_2016) he warned how China was slamming us. In reality, we’ve been warned of this situation for years. Previous administrations not only allowed it to continue, but encouraged more of the same. There’s a new Sheriff in town now. I hope we can turn this around.

Akiva Shapero
3 months ago

I hope as a country we do a full reset on anything to do with China. I, for one, would pay more for my consumer products if they were sourced here in the USA.

Joyce Gibson
3 months ago

I remember as far back as the 1950’s when I was a teenager, my father often said that we had nothing to fear from Russia, but the country we should look out for was China. He believed that China was trying to take over the world and the more I hear and see, I believe he was correct.

Linda Hutson
3 months ago

I’m just one small voice, but I have been warning anyone who would listen about China for more than 40 years! To me it was never Russia but China! Couldn’t be more proud of President Trump, when he hit the ground running to rebuild our Military in record time! We’re going to need it!

David K
3 months ago

Excellent article, as I’ve come to expect from Amac. My late wife and I have been voicing our concerns about the way Americans have chosen to pick “cheap” over home-manufactured for over a decade now. Having a country and/or countries that don’t like us much, or are even our stated enemies, manufacture our essential prescriptions, communications equipment, pet food etc is incomprehensible. And as the former “breadbasket for the world”, how on earth can we be importing so much of our food? Yes, in the short term, this will be an expensive turnaround. We’ve been giving large sectors of our… Read more »

Dom
3 months ago

TIME TO DIVORCE CHINA. START WITH MEDS, HOSPITAL SUPPLIES AND DEFENSE SUPPLIES. I WOULDN’T EAT ANYTHING PRODUCED FROM THAT COUNTRY NOR FEED MY PET.

Rodney Ernst
3 months ago

Well folks, we now have a good taste of socialism. We have a Gov. Here in Mich. That has run with the power to control. I see this in other areas as well. Wake up America. Is this what you want? Our civil liberties have just been trampled on. Do you want to have papers on hand to prove who you are just to drive state to state? Looks like a picture of some movies I have seen. Especially German war scenes. We have an election this year. So, if you want this kind of life of no freedom, then… Read more »

Phil Hammersley
3 months ago

President Trump is the first president (or any other “leader”) to call out Chinese intentions and goals. While the Bidens were making millions from the ChiComs, Trump was warning us about China’s goal of surpassing the US economically and militarily. Time for our lazy Congress to do something!

Chuck
3 months ago

China also has a major foothold in the Port of Los Angeles in railroad shipping. China’s goal is to control world wide economies and governments. This practice has been in place and persistently persued since the 1960’s when “Chairman Mao” was the great Chinese guru of spreading cultural reform, educational indoctrination, and propaganda. Who can forget “The Chinese Cultural Revolution” of the mid 60’s? That is China’s goal for the United States. They’re subtle, patient, and unfortunately, successful. Look at the Democratic Party.

rae a yearnd
3 months ago

The Bush legacy has been exposed and now needs to be reversed,, as CIA director,,then Ambassador to China,, then President,, Bush 41 started this Global rush to take advantage of both Chinese Slave labor,, and the basic greed of American investors. Clinton put the program on steroids,, and no one until Trump has taken a step back to evaluate the real life results. This of course is the real reason that Trump has been apposed every minute of every day,, and why he was impeached,, He is interfering with the money train that flows from China through Washington D.C. to… Read more »

Starla
3 months ago

TRUMP/PENCE 2020

John Karkalis
3 months ago

Mao Zedong promoters passing off as a “Confucius Institute? Now that gets one’s attention! All the more reason Americans must be on the alert for propaganda passing itself off as “news”. Does it pass the smell test? If it looks like a fish and stinks, it is more than likely a rotten fish. China with its closed society and strict direction from the top has an advantage over an open society like ours. It can censor and expel journalists it deems “unfriendly toward the PRC. Imagine if you will, the USA treating foreign journalists this way. Our erstwhile friends would… Read more »

David Spade
3 months ago

Unfortunately, the Chinese have a deep grasp on the consumer goods market in our country. One example is the cheap dollar stores where inferior products are sold to unsuspecting purchasers because that is where they can get more for their dollar (they think). You must also be very concerned, for example, of seafood sold in the big box wholesale stores. Who knows what those fish had been fed. Electronics, auto replacement parts, clothing….and on and on. The Chinese influence in the USA is huge in so many respects. We collectively must resist, at every turn, to buy their products and… Read more »

Maxine O
3 months ago

It is so depressing that Hollywood, professional athletics, and the news media will follow the money. Big Pharma does not produce our drugs in America any more. Clothing is produced in China. There seems to be little integrity left in America.

John C.
3 months ago

By US MADE product. Avoid China made. Far less expensive for the long run

Nero Wolfe
3 months ago

We must thank former President Nixon and his foreign Secretary of State Kissinger for “awaking this dangerous Giant” and for the lecherous Bill Clinton for opening the White House to the Chicoms to provide a foothold in the United States and the world.
Communist China will face a global backlash for its activities over the nefarious acts it has given the world. Namely, Death!
It’s important to remove them from American soil as soon as possible, and start manufacturing our own products.

John C.
3 months ago

If it states made in China try to avoid purchase. Buy American if you can find it. Pay more of you must but far better for you and the USA

Eleanor Harrington Foyle Gallardo
3 months ago

I can’t believe people who grew up with 007 movies, have forgotten his enemies, China and Russia. All that’s going on today, may be our blessings from God. Maybe more countries will think twice about the Chinese

Stephen Russell
3 months ago

& examine ALL products in homeL: see stamp or stencil MADE IN CHINA A-Z too.
IE Norelco razor, etc etc. simple stuff too.
& now add RX & PPE.
Since day 1 when elites said China is good to offshore etc then.

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