Census Bureau Continues to Rely on Media Controlled by Chinese Regime in Outreach Effort

March 18, 2020 Updated: March 19, 2020
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The decision by the U.S. Census Bureau to stop using Beijing’s official mouthpiece China Central Television (CCTV) in publicizing the upcoming 2020 Census to the Chinese-American community has not quelled controversy over the actions of the Bureau, which continues to avoid using Chinese-language outlets critical of the Chinese regime.

Since publishing an article on Jan. 21 describing how the Census Bureau was relying on China’s state-owned CCTV and other Chinese media controlled by the regime, The Epoch Times has found that the Census Bureau is still using U.S. taxpayers’ money to hire several media outlets controlled by the Chinese regime, including a newspaper called The China Press (Qiaobao). The China Press is generally recognized as one of the Chinese regime’s leading mouthpieces in the United States.

The 2020 Census is currently in partnership with the offices of The China Press in Boston, Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, and Texas.

The China Press has a long history of ties to the Chinese regime. The Jamestown Foundation published a report titled “How China’s Government Is Attempting To Control Chinese Media in America” on Nov. 21 2001. The report states: “The China Press is directly controlled by the Chinese government. The paper is characterized by its substantial and timely news reports from Mainland China. It represents the voice and views of China’s Communist government.”

According to a November 2018 report published by Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, The China Press is owned by the Asian Culture and Media Group, which is controlled by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Hoover report states that The China Press is “the flagship pro-PRC [People’s Republic of China] newspaper published in the United States.”

The 200-page-long Hoover report, titled “Chinese Influence and American Interests,” documents the extent of China’s influence operations inside the United States.

Through a brief online search, The Epoch Times has found the following recent articles as examples of the work done by The China Press.

1) On Oct. 9, 2019, The China Press published a report titled (in Chinese) “China’s Anti-Terrorism Office Criticized the U.S. Government for Interfering with Xinjiang Affairs, Claimed No Human Rights Issues in Xinjiang.” This report was the Chinese regime’s response to U.S. government sanctions against China’s human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.

On Oct. 7, 2019, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that 28 Chinese organizations were being put on the U.S. blacklist due to concerns about their role targeting Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the autonomous region of Xinjiang in China. Most of these organizations are police offices in Xinjiang.

The China Press report states in Chinese: “Xinjiang entirely has none of the human rights issues that it was accused of by the U.S. government. The accusations are only excuses used by the U.S. government to interfere with China’s domestic affairs.”

The article also stated that China’s Uyghur policies are supported by 25 million Uyghurs living in the Xinjiang region, and criticized the U.S. government for using double standards on anti-terrorism policy.

2) On May 10, 2019, The China Press published an article stating that the Chinese concept of human rights would influence the world.

The article was titled (in Chinese) “China’s 70 Years Human Rights Forum, China’s Concept Influences the World.” It states that China was one of the countries that contributed to the original drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and that China is leading the United Nations in using the new Chinese concept of human rights.

One of the authors who drafted the original document of the UDHR was from Taiwan, also known as the Republic of China. While today’s Chinese regime does not recognize the existence of the Republic of China, The China Press article took the credit for the regime for a Taiwanese helping draft the original UDHR.

The article also states that China wants to use China’s ideas, strategies, wisdom, actions, and contributions to push international changes in the concepts of human rights.

3) On Jan. 29, 2020, The China Press published an article criticizing the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Tibetan Policy and Support Act (HR 4331). The bill states that if Chinese officials interfere in the process of recognizing a successor or reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, they will be subject to sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act.

The Global Magnitsky Act is U.S. legislation that allows the U.S. executive branch to impose sanctions and visa bans on people anywhere in the world who have violated human rights or committed significant corruption.

The China Press article criticized HR 4331 for interfering with China’s domestic affairs. It claimed that the religions in Tibet enjoy harmony and that people living in Tibet support the Chinese regime’s policies.

4) On Sept. 22, 2019, The China Press published an article about a Chinese regime white paper that stated that Chinese people are living happy lives, which is their biggest human right.

5) Last year, during the months of the Hong Kong protests, The China Press provided a large number of articles to spread Beijing’s propaganda smearing the prodemocracy protests, including reports on the “violence” of the protesters, the “secret visits” of the Western representatives helping organize the “anti-government riots,” and so on.

In the last 20 years, the Chinese regime has been making increasing efforts to infiltrate the media landscape of the Western world.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published a report in 2019 titled “China’s Pursuit of a New World Media Order,” which states: “China has been going to great lengths for the last decade to establish a ‘new world media order’ under its control, with the aim of deterring and preventing any criticism of itself.”

The RSF report also states: “Beijing has gained control of most of the leading Chinese diaspora media. … China has also developed its own media outlets such as Qiaobao [The China Press] in the United States to help disseminate its viewpoint in the diaspora.”

While relying on The China Press and other Chinese state-owned media as its outreach partners, the 2020 Census has rejected proposals from Chinese-language media outlets, including The Epoch Times and NTD TV, that are critical of the Chinese regime.

The Epoch Times asked the 2020 Census for explanations of their decisions about choosing media outreach partners, but received no response by press time.

The Epoch Times also asked the 2020 Census media team partners for their explanations, and received the following answers:

TDW+Co, a 2020 Census media partner that is responsible for evaluating proposals from Chinese-language media, sent an email stating that only media with American tax ID were selected, and no China-owned media were selected. The response from TDW+Co did not explain why American media controlled by the Chinese regime, such as The China Press, were selected.

YMLY&R, another 2020 Census media partner in charge of 2020 Census outreach effort, stated in its email response that it follows Federal Acquisition Regulations, and selected media “based on their ability to effectively reach key audience such as hard-to-count communities,” but did not explain why several major media critical of Chinese regime were not selected.