Chinese Human Rights Leaders Call on US Government to Expel Pro-CCP Chinese Newspaper From US

Chinese Human Rights Leaders Call on US Government to Expel Pro-CCP Chinese Newspaper From US
A man reads the Chinese state-run newspaper with coverage of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine on a street in Beijing on Feb. 24, 2022. (Jade Gao/AFP via Getty Images)
Nathan Su
News Analysis

The China Press (Qiao Bao) is a U.S.-based Chinese-language newspaper. It has long been dubbed a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) among Chinese communities. Now, human rights leaders and activists are calling on the U.S. government to send it back to China.

The newspaper has publicly claimed that it does not take a pro-CCP stance but rather a pro-China stance. Now, Chinese human rights leaders and activists are calling for the federal government to expel the newspaper from the United States.

Zhao Wei (pseudonym), a former senior media person from a pro-CCP Chinese media outlet in New York, alleged to the The Epoch Times that the president of The China Press was directly sent from China by the CCP and that a former general manager of the newspaper personally told her that “I was sent by the CCP, and don’t know how long I can stay.” Ms. Zhao was also told that this manager was from China’s national security.

Chen Chuangchuang, executive director of the U.S. National Committee of the Democracy Party of China, alleged in an interview with The Epoch Times that the senior-level managers of the China Press are from the CCP’s Overseas Chinese Affairs Office (OCAO) and that the newspaper harms the United States by controlling pro-CCP Chinese in America.

Mr. Chen said the CCP controls and influences Chinese newspapers like the World Journal and Sing Tao, but the regime still needs a direct megaphone like the China Press. While the newspaper advocates for the CCP in the United States, if it takes money from the CCP and is sent by the CCP, it should be expelled—or at least the money should be cut off, according to Mr. Chen.

Jie Lijian, executive vice chairman of the Democracy Party of China in Los Angeles, said in a recent interview with The Epoch Times: “We hope that the U.S. government will take measures to rigorously investigate The China Press and various organizations that act as agents for the CCP lurking in the United States. Once discovered, they should be shut down and expelled to prevent them from harming the United States.”

The China Press Has Always Represented the CCP

On Oct. 16, 2022, the CCP held its 20th National Congress, with Xi Jinping becoming CCP Secretary General for a third term. In response, The China Press published a special page in celebrative colors, a full section called “China’s Answers.”

In this section, the newspaper provided dedicated web links to articles that interpreted the personnel arrangements and policy directions of the CCP’s 20th National Congress. The China Press also “represented” overseas Chinese expressing support for the CCP.

On Oct. 22, 2023, the Chinese newspaper published an editorial titled “China’s Modernization is also the Modernization of Overseas Chinese.” In this article, the Chinese newspaper unabashedly declared that “the CCP places its own development within the coordinate system of mankind’s development.”

“Its development is not only beneficial to China but also aims to benefit the world as a whole,” the article reads.

The China Press Part of CCP’s United Front Work Department

A former OCAO staff from China, Wang Wei (pseudonym), told The Epoch Times that one of the important tasks of the CCP’s overseas Chinese affairs work is propaganda, to occupy overseas propaganda positions and convey the voice of China (the CCP) abroad.

According to Mr. Wang, within the OCAO, there is a Propaganda Department, with dedicated personnel responsible for overseas propaganda, who have direct contact with overseas mouthpiece media of the CCP. She believes that The China Press was a major overseas propaganda tool of the CCP, a “propaganda front” for the CCP abroad, and alleged it belonged internally to the CCP’s United Front Work Department (UFWD).

The China Press claims to be the “only simplified Chinese newspaper in the United States.” In 2019, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University issued a special report on the infiltration of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) into the United States, titled “China’s Influence & American Interests.”

According to the Hoover Institution’s research report, American Chinese TV, The China Press, and Sino U.S. Times all belong to the Asian Culture and Media Group. These three media companies were established by the OCAO of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) State Council in the early 1990s. The Western edition of The China Press and some other companies also formed the Rhythm Media Group in the United States.

On March 21, 2018, the CCP Central Committee issued the Plan for Deepening the Reform of Party and State Institutions. According to the plan, the OCAO was merged into the CCP Central Committee’s UFWD. The current director of the OCAO also serves as the deputy minister of the UFWD of the CCP Central Committee.

The UFWD is one of the three largest departments within the CCP. The other two are the Organization Department and the Propaganda Department. According to 2020 research by the Jamestown Foundation, the annual UFWD budget is higher than that of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Historically, the task of the CCP’s UFWD has been to seek common interests between the CCP and different organizations both domestically and internationally. The goal is to influence these organizations for the CCP’s interests.

According to the Hoover Institution’s report, many media personnel under the Asian Culture and Media Group come directly from within the CCP’s media system. Moreover, The China Press’s content echoes China’s official media, and “the vast majority of its stories about China, Sino–American relations, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other important issues for the PRC government are taken directly from official Chinese media outlets or websites, including CCTV, Xinhua, and the People’s Daily.”

Helping CCP Target the United States

On Sept. 13, 2023, Western media began reporting the news of a planned visit to China by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer(D-N.Y.), but Beijing made no official response to the news. At the same time, the CCP’s mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, published an editorial titled “Defining the Entire U.S.–China Relationship as Competition Is a Serious Misjudgment.”

The opinion piece states that Mr. Schumer’s visit plan was “lacking in sincerity.”

The article also states: “The so-called ‘competition’ from the U.S. is all-round containment, unbridled suppression, and pressure on China. The mistaken understanding and actions of the U.S. side not only ignore the reality of mutual dependence between China and the United States, but also distort the history of win-win cooperation between the two countries.”

While there was no official response from Beijing regarding the news of Mr. Schumer’s planned visit to China, on Sept. 16, 2023, The China Press published an editorial titled “To Improve Bilateral Relations, US Advocates High-level Visits, China Demands Sincerity.”

In this editorial commentary, the newspaper not only directly quoted the editorial from the People’s Daily but also added a call to action at the beginning of the article.

“From the Chinese perspective, ’sincerity' means that the U.S. should not define the substantive nature of U.S.–China relations as competition,” the editorial reads. “It means that starting from goodwill and cooperation can avoid the strange situation of high-level exchanges, frequent dialogues, while simultaneously imposing restrictions, sanctions, and crossing red lines without hesitation.”

This introductory statement from The China Press was not part of the original text of the People’s Daily editorial. However, it explicitly represents the stance of the overseas Chinese newspaper on behalf of the CCP.

The China Press reiterated the viewpoint of the People’s Daily editorial in its own editorial piece, stating that “the United States emphasizes competition as the entirety of its relations with China, the fundamental reason being that the U.S. side has a directional problem in its understanding of China.”

The Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement (STCA) between the United States and China expired on Aug. 27, 2023. Due to concerns that the CCP would use advanced technology obtained from the United States for military purposes, negotiations between the Biden administration and the CCP have been at a standstill.

On Feb. 24, The China Press published an editorial titled “At Crossroad, the Sino–US STCA Should Be Renewed.” The article criticizes “some American politicians treating China as an imaginary enemy, claiming that scientific and technological exchanges and cooperation with China would harm U.S. national security.” The article also states that if this agreement is not renewed, “it will be a loss for both sides and the whole world.”

Persecution of Uyghurs in Xinjiang

On March 3, 2021, the U.S. State Department released the 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, accusing the CCP of conducting genocide in Xinjiang.

On March 31 of that same year, The China Press published a comprehensive report titled “U.S. Reports Genocide in Xinjiang, China: Chinese Ethnic Minorities Have Much More Dignity Than America’s.” The article quoted the remarks of Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who called the State Department’s report a “complete fabrication.”

On April 7, 2021, the Uyghur Tribunal in London held a hearing to review accusations of human rights violations against the Uyghurs by the CCP. The chairman of this tribunal was the internationally renowned barrister Sir Geoffrey Nice, who previously served as lead prosecutor in the trial of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

On June 3, 2021, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian, in response to questions from China Daily reporters, said that “this so-called Uyghur Tribunal has nothing to do with law.”

“It is a pure anti-China farce,” he said.

On the same day, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Wang Wenbin, in response to questions from BBC reporters, said that Geoffrey Nice was “a senior British agent” and “is known for filing frivolous lawsuits and has close ties with different anti-China forces.”

On June 18, 2021, The China Press published a comprehensive report titled “The Uyghur Tribunal is Actually a Private Company in the UK, with World Uyghur Congress as its Biggest Sponsor.” In this report, The China Press quoted the news from China News Service, a CCP state media, alleging that the Uyghur Tribunal “openly abuses the name of the court to spread rumors and slander, which can be described as extremely absurd.”

The report also quoted the words of a professor at Xinjiang University in China, stating that the World Uyghur Congress “has been colluding with terrorist organizations such as the East Turkistan Islamic Movement to plot terrorist and separatist activities. ”

In The China Press’s report, it was also stated: “Since 2016, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) of the United States has continuously increased its funding for World Uyghur Congress and other East Turkistan organizations. Over the years, NED has funded approximately $1.3 million to World Uyghur Congress, which is the hidden major funder behind these Xinjiang separatist forces.”

Destroying Hong Kong

As early as 2003, when Hong Kong had only been returned to China for less than six years, the CCP attempted to pass Article 23 of the Basic Law in Hong Kong, which was a piece of national security legislation. On July 1, 2003, half a million people in Hong Kong took to the streets to protest against the Hong Kong government’s attempt to legislate Article 23, leading to the failure of this legislation.

In 2019, Hong Kong witnessed a nearly year-long pro-democracy movement, with the theme of “anti-extradition to China.”

On June 30, 2020, the National People’s Congress, as the rubber-stamp parliament of the CCP, bypassed the Hong Kong Legislative Council and directly enacted the Hong Kong National Security Law (HK NSL). After the enactment of this law, the Hong Kong government began retaliating against and suppressing participants in the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement.

The passage of the HK NSL sparked massive protests in many countries around the world. However, on July 2, 2020, The China Press published a special editorial titled “If Hong Kong is Safe, All Sides Have Sunny Days.” It stated that the passage of the law allows “the Hong Kong police to enforce the law with reference to the National Security Law when facing street riots and other acts suspected of endangering national security ... the National Security Law is helping to ‘disinfect’ Hong Kong, and everyone is looking forward to the stability of Hong Kong’s politics, economy, and commerce in the future.”

On July 16, 2020, The China Press published an article titled “Where was Hong Kong’s Pro-Independence Black Money From? The British Website GoGetFunding alleges that the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement colluded with foreign forces, posing a threat to national security.”

This report directly quoted a report from Wenweipo, a Hong Kong-based pro-Beijing newspaper, without any verification. The report claimed that democratic activists in Hong Kong obtained overseas black money through GoGetFunding and engaged in pro-independence activities, thus allegedly violating the HK NSL.

Suppression of Taiwan

The median line of the Taiwan Strait is a boundary historically recognized by both sides.

On March 31, 2019, two J-11 fighter jets of the Chinese military crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait. This marked the first deliberate crossing of the median line since 1999. In January 2020, Tsai Ing-wen was reelected as president of Taiwan. Since then, the number and frequency of Chinese military airplanes crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait have gradually increased.

On Sept. 18, 2020, 18 Chinese military aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

The Taiwan Air Force communicated with the Chinese aircraft, saying, “You have flown over the median line of the strait. Please turn around and leave immediately.”

The Chinese Air Force responded, “There is no median line in the Taiwan Strait.”

With the escalating provocative behaviors from the Chinese military in the Taiwan Strait, The China Press published an editorial in October 2020 titled “Seeking Peace and Avoiding War is Taiwan’s Foremost Task.” In this editorial, it was stated that “the Democratic Progressive Party colluding with external forces and intensifying independence provocations is the root cause of the current complex and severe situation in the Taiwan Strait.”

The editorial also reads, “The actions of the People’s Liberation Army are not only to deter independence but also to remind people that, if necessary, the Taiwan Strait may enter a state of war at any time.”

The United States and China signed three joint communiqués in 1972, 1979, and 1982. In these communiqués, the U.S. government, in exchange for acknowledging the CCP’s stance that Taiwan is part of China, obtained the CCP’s commitment to maintaining peace in the Taiwan Strait. However, with the CCP’s increasing economic and military rise, it began to renounce its commitment to peace in the Taiwan Strait.

In August 2022, after U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visited Taiwan, the Chinese military simultaneously held six military drills around Taiwan. On October 20, 2022, The China Press published an editorial titled “There is Only One America in the World, of Course, There is Only One China.”

The editorial reads, “Peaceful reunification is the priority option, and forceful reunification is a reserved option.”

On April 5, 2023, President Tsai transited through Los Angeles and met with 18 members of the House of Representatives, including then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican. On April 8, The China Press published an editorial titled “The Tsai–McCarthy Meeting is a Dangerous Game.”

The editorial reads, “This is once again showing the position of ‘expanding Taiwan’s international space’ in front of America’s European and Asian allies and other countries, not giving up the opportunity to show ‘leadership role,’ and being willing to further divide the world.”

The China Press Seen as Spy Agency in the Eyes of Chinese

The UFWD oversees a large number of CCP’s overseas spy agencies. The CCP also dispatches a large number of special agents disguised as “journalists” to work in overseas media under OCAO, such as Phoenix TV, Sing Tao Daily, and others. These media outlets are seen by overseas Chinese as CCP’s spy agencies.

Mr. Chen said The China Press is not only the CCP’s “diplomatic media” but is also suspected of acting as the CCP’s spy agency, posing a threat to U.S. national security. He urged the U.S. government to more strictly regulate these media outlets, especially regarding CCP agents, funding sources, and user information.

The nature of the information provided by The China Press does not conform to the definition of media. Additionally, many Chinese immigrants to the United States are not as supportive of the CCP as imagined but are unable to express opposition openly for various reasons, including pressure and fear from the CCP.

Mr. Chen said a survey by the Pew Research Center found that more than 50 percent of Chinese immigrants to the United States hold considerable opposition or aversion to the CCP regime, but they dare not speak out.

He asserted that the fact that some Chinese people in the United States dare not speak out is a problem. This actually stems from the CCP’s large-scale overseas propaganda activities, which mainly consist of two aspects: controlling public opinion through media purchases and exerting pressure on individuals.

For example, Mr. Chen said that if you publicly express opinions unfavorable to the CCP, you may face consequences. If you are an academic, the CCP will not approve your research trips to China; if you are a businessman, the CCP will not allow you to do business there; and if you are Chinese, your personal safety may be threatened when you return to China, or you may not be allowed to return.

He pointed out that the CCP influences the speech and behavior of overseas Chinese through extensive external propaganda. This propaganda not only encourages others to speak well but also prevents them from speaking ill. In addition, the CCP deliberately spreads rumors and false information to influence public opinion. The media outlets under OCAO are directly controlled by the CCP, which can operate directly in the United States. This is simply a shameful phenomenon in the free world. During the Cold War, the United States would not tolerate similar activities by the Soviet Union in the United States.

Mr. Chen concluded that the space that the free world, especially the United States, provides to the CCP for its activities is indeed too large. The United States is doing far too little on issues involving national security. Meanwhile, U.S. media outlets in China or even attempting to enter China face great difficulties. Even when they manage to enter China, they often encounter various forms of surveillance and interference, which is extremely unequal.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly named the Asian Culture and Media Group. The Epoch Times regrets the error.