HOW CHINA'S GOVERNMENT IS ATTEMPTING TO CONTROL CHINESE MEDIA IN AMERICA [summarized excerpts]


China Brief
Volume 1, Issue 10
November 21, 2001

By Mei Duzhe

The U.S. Census 2000 data revealed that the Chinese-American community has increased by 48 per cent to over 2.4 million, making it the largest Asian ethnic group in the country. 83 per cent of these people speak the Chinese language at home, with 60 per cent professing that their English skills are limited. This heavy dependence on Chinese-language media means that it is this media alone that determines the worldview of many Chinese-Americans living in the States. The Chinese Government recognizes this and has consequently made major inroads into the Chinese-American media market over the past decade. Four main tactics characterize the Chinese government's effort to influence Chinese media in America:
1. Direct control of newspapers, television stations, and radio stations through complete ownership or owning major shares.
2. The government's use of economic ties to influence independent media. The Chinese government utilizes business relations to remove all broadcast material deemed “unfavorable”.
3. The purchasing of broadcast time and advertising space (or more) from existing independent media. Closely related to this is the government's providing free, ready-to-go programming and contents.
4. The deployment of government personnel to work in independent media.
These tactics have been applied with much effect to both national- and local-level Chinese media throughout the United States.

INFLUENCING CHINESE NEWSPAPERS

The dominant Chinese media vehicle in America is the newspaper, circulating to over 700 000 people. Four major Chinese newspapers are found in the U.S.-World Journal, Sing Tao Daily, Ming Pao Daily News and The China Press. Of these four, three are either directly or indirectly controlled by the government of Mainland China, while the fourth (run out of Taiwan) has recently begun bowing to pressure from the Beijing government.

-- The China Press

This daily paper is distributed in almost all major U.S. cities with a total circulation of 120,000. It is directly controlled by the Chinese government and represents their voice and views.

-- Sing Tao Daily

The Sing Tao Daily is a procommunist newspaper with a circulation of 181,000. It contains an editorial forum known as Sing Tao Square. During the recent EP-3 incident, when two columnists published articles in Sing Tao asking China to release the American crew and return the U.S. airplane, they were singled out and attacked on Sing Tao Square for nearly a month. Similar situations have occurred following the publication of articles sympathetic to the Falun Gong spiritual practice.

-- Ming Pao Daily News

The owner of Ming Pao Daily News has close business ties with China and is heavily influenced by the Chinese government. For example, there is an unwritten rule at both Sing Tao and Ming Pao that no exclusive reports on the Pro-Democracy Movement of China are to be published. In order to appear to be "neutral" and "independent," they do however publish some related reports, but they are merely based on news releases from sources like the Hong Kong Information Center for Human Rights & Democratic Movement in China. Employees at Ming Pao's New York office have told sources that their "true boss" is none other than the Chinese Consulate [in New York], and that they are obligated to do whatever the Consulate asks.
Ming Pao claims a circulation of 115,000 and is distributed mainly on the east coast of the United States.

-- World Journal

Although it is an independently run daily publication, World Journal is presently trying to develop business ties with Mainland China. Chinese Consulates in both New York and San Francisco have pressured World Journal's local offices to not publish ads related to Falun Gong. The New York office has already acquiesced in full, and the San Francisco office has in part; it still prints Falun Gong ads, but with them appearing on the paper's least-viewed page 90 per cent of the time.
World Journal is the most widely read Chinese-language newspaper in North America, and claims a circulation of 300,000 in the United States.

INFLUENCING CHINESE TELEVISION

China's official state-run TV station broadcasts twenty-four hours a day at no charge, to viewers around the world. CCTV-4 also rents broadcasting time from influential independent TV stations across the United States, which reach millions of households. Furthermore, CCTV-4 also provides free programming (especially news programs) to independent TV stations, ready for broadcast, again reaching millions of households. It is difficult to estimate the total number of viewers CCTV-4 has. First, its satellite broadcast signal is uncoded and can thus be received by any type of satellite dish; second, it runs on cable channels in most every U.S. City. What this means is that CCTV-4 has effectively brought the Chinese government's propaganda to the vast majority of ethnic Chinese living in the U.S.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

The 2000 Census also revealed that 80 percent of all Chinese-Americans live in twelve major U.S. cities; all these cities are targeted by the Chinese government with propaganda. They have effectively infiltrated all major U.S. cities home to Chinese-Americans with half-truths and gross misinformation. But for many of the United States' 2.4 million Chinese-Americans, such reporting might be all that they read, hear or see. The "outside world" and current events are filtered and presented through a limited number of media, the majority of which are run by the Chinese Government. The long-term negative effects of such reporting are seen in the fierce, even violent antagonism towards Falun Gong on U.S. soil as well as strong anti-American sentiments amidst the EP-3 affair, Belgrade Embassy Bombing and September 11 tragedies.
And, surprisingly, this would appear just the beginning. This past week it was reported that AOL Time Warner had closed a major deal with the Beijing government that would bring CCTV programming to the United States on a much larger scale, via Time Warner's cable operations. The big question is whether AOL Time Warner are aware of the evil and vicious lies that they are helping to spread throughout their own country.

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