Radio Free Asia, through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) system, dug out the financials for the North American bureau of Xinhua, the official news agency of the People’s Republic of China. Xinhua spent more than US$10 million in the 14 months between March 18, 2020 and May 4, 2021. All of the funds came from Beijing. Employee salaries were over $5.3 million. In addition, the agency rented eight properties in the U.S. and spent more than $3.3 million on rent.Also, more than $500,000 was spent on administrative costs, including attorney fees.
Documents show that from March of last year to April of this year, the Xinhua News Agency paid a total of $8.64 million to its North American branches, including its New York headquarters and branches in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, Houston, and Chicago.
In February 2020, the U.S. Department of State designated the Xinhua News Agency as a “foreign mission.” According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) is designed to ensure that the U.S. public is informed of the source of media contents. In 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice asked Xinhua News Agency to register as a “foreign agent” under FARA. Last March, the U.S. authorities announced a staffing cap for Chinese media outlets including Xinhua News Agency and China Global Television Network (CGTN), reducing the total number of Chinese employees in the U.S. from 160 to 100.
Source: Radio Free Asia, May 10, 2021