The United States State Department released a statement on Monday announcing that four Chinese Communist party-run news outlets now qualify as “foreign missions,” meaning they are “substantially owned or effectively controlled by a foreign government,” State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
Ortagus also stressed that General Secretary Xi Jinping has increased control over outlets in China throughout his time in office. “The CCP has reorganized China’s state propaganda outlets disguised as news agencies and asserted even more direct control over them,” Ortagus explained. “While Western media are beholden to the truth, PRC media are beholden to the Chinese Communist Party.”
The agencies — China Central Television, China News Service, the People’s Daily, and the Global Times — are receiving the label to increase awareness of their actions in the U.S. and because foreign missions must “adhere to certain administrative requirements that also apply to foreign embassies and consulates in the United States.”
This action stems from power granted by the 1982 Foreign Missions Act which allows the State Department to regulate “the activities of foreign missions in the United States in a manner that will protect the foreign policy and national security interests of the United States.”
The announcement follows a similar declaration in February deeming five other Chinese media outlets as foreign missions.
Relations between the U.S. and China over media outlets have been strained since March 18 when correspondents for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post lost their credentials and were expelled from China.
Since then, the U.S. and China have faced disputes over COVID-19 reporting and misinformation. And the U.S. has sought to lessen the impact of Communist propaganda to combat the spread of that misinformation.
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Husband of Biden’s Commerce Secretary is Top Executive at Firm Funded by Chinese Government
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has a conflict of interest. She must work with her agency to combat and counter China on the world stage, all while supporting her husband’s position as a top executive for an artificial intelligence company whose major venture capital firm investor Is backed by the Chinese government.
Danhua Capital is based in California and is financially backed by the Chinese Communist Party. They are also one of the main funders of PathAI, an artificial intelligence firm that employs Raimondo’s husband, Andy Moffit. Moffit acts as the chief people officer.
The Chinese firm lists PathAI as one of its featured “biotech and health” investments on its website, although it’s unclear how much specifically Danhua Capital has invested. According to a 2018 Reuters report on the firm, Danhua Capital was established and funded as part of the Chinese government’s “penetration of Silicon Valley.”
In 2018, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) testified before Congress that Danhua Capital’s mission is to use capital to narrow the technology gap between China and the United States. The Washington Free Beacon reports that many staffers from CNAS, a liberal think tank, are now employed in the highest ranks of the Biden administration.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Raimondo’s agency was pushing back on efforts by others in the Biden administration to block Chinese technology firms from working with American companies. Commerce officials are arguing internally, according to the report, that the administration’s tougher approach to China would hurt U.S. companies.
Raimondo said on Thursday she would not urge U.S. companies to pull sponsorships from the upcoming Beijing Olympics after President Joe Biden announced a diplomatic boycott of the games over human rights abuses. “What individual companies do is entirely up to them,” Raimondo said. “We’re not going to pressure them one way or another.”
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