Biden Pens Article in US-Based Chinese Newspaper, Rallying Chinese-American Voters

October 25, 2020 Updated: October 26, 2020

Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden penned an article that was published in the Chinese-language newspaper, World Journal, in both Chinese and English.

Titled, “More Prosperous Future For Our Families,” Biden affirmed the contributions of Asian-Americans to the history and culture of the United States. He also sharply criticized his opponent, President Donald Trump, for insisting on calling COVID-19 the “China virus.” He said it led to racial discrimination against Asian-Americans.

Biden also explained how he would approach the United States’ relationship with China: “We’ll work to collaborate with China when it’s in our interest, including on public health and climate change.”

The World Journal was established on Feb. 12, 1976 in New York. It has been serving Taiwanese immigrants in the United States for many years. It is also one of the six newspapers owned by the United Daily News, the most influential newspaper company in Taiwan.

Epoch Times Photo
The World Journal, run by a Taiwan-based media company, has become increasingly pro-Beijing in its news coverage over the years. (Epoch Times)

In its early day, active leftists protested the newspaper due to its support of Taiwan’s sovereignty and its opposition to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The Chinese regime claims Taiwan as its own despite the island being self-ruled with its own democratically-elected government, currency, and military.

The newspaper also covers some of the Chinese human rights abuses. For example, it ran an editorial on Jul. 18, 2017, memorializing the death of Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese writer and human rights activist who was the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

But the newspaper has also come under Chinese influence.

In 2011, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the Guangdong Province government invited nearly one hundred representatives from Chinese-language media outlets outside China to go on a five-day tour of the southern province from Sept. 20 to 24 to honor the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution. World Journal was among the invited.

The Xinhai uprising took place in 1911 and overthrew China’s last imperial dynasty, establishing the Republic of China.

The Overseas Chinese Affairs Office is an important arm of the CCP’s United Front Work Department, a unit that launches influence operations in order to push Beijing’s agenda inside and outside of China.

World Journal’s pro-Beijing tendency was also noted in the Hoover Institution’s October 2018 report on Chinese influence operations in the United States.

The report stated that the Journal had in recent years “become more pro-PRC in a variety of areas, such as China’s militarization of the South China Sea and its handling of Taiwan and Hong Kong.”

In an article for the Chinese-language Epoch Times, Lee Yong, a former senior reporter for the Journal, wrote an account of how, over the years, the newspaper changed its editorial stance to tacitly sympathizing with the Chinese regime.

Lee exposed several tactics the CCP has taken to influence the Journal.

One is arranging for reporters to take free tours to mainland China. Lee recalled that about ten years ago, a staff reporter who was critical of Beijing got a chance to visit mainland China for free for a month. He also received a considerable sum of pocket money during the visit. After returning from his China trip, he completely changed and no longer wrote articles that were critical of the Chinese regime. He became an ardent supporter of the CCP and spoke favorably of its state-run media Xinhua, Lee said.

CCP members were also embedded at the Journal, according to Lee. They would become staff and get the chance to interview pro-Beijing individuals or groups. When covering local community events, they would purposefully highlight the CCP’s five-star flag and avoid showing the flag of the Republic of China used in Taiwan.

According to Lee, the CCP’s united front work at the Journal was so successful that the newspaper “had begun to dance to the CCP’s tune.”