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U.S. Terminates Five PRC-Funded Propaganda Programs Disguised as “Cultural Exchanges”

The US State Department announced on Friday, December 4, that it would terminate five exchange programs with China, one of which is related to Hong Kong.

These programs include the Policymakers Educational China Trip Program, the U.S.-China Friendship Program, the U.S.-China Leadership Exchange Program, the U.S.-China Transpacific Exchange Program and the Hong Kong Educational and Cultural Program.

Such programs were conducted under Section 108A of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (MECEA), which allows U.S. government employees to travel using foreign government funds.

The state department’s statement called these programs PRC funded propaganda programs disguised as “cultural exchanges.”

“While other programs funded under the auspices of the MECEA are mutually beneficial, the five programs in question are fully funded and operated by the PRC government as soft power propaganda tools. They provide carefully curated access to Chinese Communist Party officials, not to the Chinese people, who do not enjoy the freedoms of speech and assembly. The United States welcomes the reciprocal and fair exchange of cultural programs with PRC officials and the Chinese people, but one-way programs such as these are not mutually beneficial.”

Source: U.S. State Department, December 4, 2020