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Chinese state media now considered foreign agents in U.S.

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The Wall Street Journal reports (paywall) that the American Department of Justice has “in recent weeks told Xinhua News Agency and China Global Television Network — known as CGTN now and earlier as CCTV — to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)”:

Such forced registrations are more than symbolic. After its registration, RT lost congressional press credentials, which limited its access to lawmakers and other U.S. officials as members of the media. Xinhua and CGTN also have such credentials, according to a recent congressional list… The FARA law, passed in 1938 to expose covert Nazi-influence campaigns in the U.S., requires anyone doing lobbying or public-relations work for a foreign entity to register and file periodic updates with the Justice Department.  

This seems sensible: Although Xinhua and CGTN do commit accidental acts of journalism occasionally, their main purpose and stated raison d’être is propaganda — acting as an information agent for the Communist Party of China.

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Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.

One Comment

  1. Daniel Ryan Reply

    “Although Xinhua and CGTN do commit accidental acts of journalism occasionally” Ah fresh morning, after reading about a temple in Taiwan that is flying the PRC flag, I thank you for this line.

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