Beijing complains as US kicks back against Chinese sharp power


Beijing has complained to the US following reports that Washington has ordered two Chinese state-run media agencies to register as foreign agents, The Guardian (London) reports:

The US Department of Justice has reportedly ordered China’s largest state-run media outlets, Xinhua News Agency and China Global Television Network (CGTN), formerly known as CCTV, to register under a law that would treat them as lobbyists working for a foreign entity….Citing a report [on Beijing’s sharp power] last year from the National Endowment for Democracy, the senators said China was exploiting “glaring asymmetry” by raising barriers to external political and cultural influence at home while simultaneously taking advantage of the openness of democratic systems abroad.”

Federal focus on the Chinese outlets comes on the heels of interference with Voice of America, a U.S. government-funded outlet, The Washington Examiner adds. Chinese officials arrested a professor who was in the midst of a VOA phone interview in August; subsequently, they detained a VOA correspondent and a contractor who tried to follow up with the professor.

“It is outrageous that two journalists have been detained for nothing more than doing their jobs,” said VOA Director Amanda Bennett.

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