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How the Chinese Government Came To Dominate Chinese Language Media in the United States

Exploiting freedom of speech, the Chinese government penetrated the
U.S. market and is now dominating the Chinese-language media.

For about the past 13 years, Chinese-speaking media outlets have seen a steady and systematic expansion in the United States. This development is mostly attributed to investments by the Chinese government since the majority of these outlets, especially for TV programs and newspapers, are either directly backed by the Chinese government or carry content that is in line with the Chinese government’s agenda.

It appears totally legal for the Chinese government-backed media groups to acquire a foothold in the United States and continue to expand. Of course, while these media outlets are free to spread Chinese government rhetoric and propaganda in the United States, the Chinese mainland has remained closed to outside news sources.

With state-owned media monopolizing the news sources in China itself, the Chinese government is able to carry out anti-American campaigns in China without any check-and-balance from independent news sources outside of China. At the same time, it is able to continuously broadcast pro-government propaganda and anti-American sentiment in the United States through its overseas media outlets, without interference from the U.S. government.

What’s more, the Chinese Embassy and Consulates in the United States have been able to gain dominance within the Chinese communities on American soil and promote the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) agenda.

Global Expansion of CCTV

During the last decade, the systematic expansion of Chinese propaganda began to occur in communities abroad at an accelerated pace. Take China Central Television (CCTV) as an example. According to its Chinese language web site, "CCTV is the important news agency of China. It is an important mouthpiece of the [Chinese Communist] Party, government and people. It is an important base of mind and culture." "The safe broadcast of CCTV is an important political task." CCTV is a state monopoly. It offers 16 channels, delivered terrestrially and by satellite, broadcasting 329 hours of programming a day, 596 hours per day if paid channels are included. In China, it oversees 36 provincial stations and more than 700 city stations. These stations mix their own local programming with CCTV’s. Through 10 satellites, its broadcasting covers the entire globe. The CCTV website,, has a daily page views of over 15 million, and is one of the top six strategically important government websites in China. In America, CCTV is on nationwide satellite network and cables in at least 15 metropolitan areas (see Table 1).

CCTV began its global expansion in 1992 by carrying out a systematic, global growth plan aimed at reaching Chinese audiences around the world. The focus from 1992 to 1995 was Asia Pacific, United States, and Middle East. The target group in 1996 was European overseas Chinese. The year 1997 saw the expansion into Africa; and in 1998, more expansion into the United States. Currently, CCTV plans to establish a 24-hour news channel and make itself available on satellite and cable TV systems. The expansion steps completed within the United States (see Table 2) are as follows:

• Establish global satellite channels: CCTV-4 (Chinese) and CCTV-9 (English), CCTV-E&F (French and Spanish, 12 hours programming each per day)

• Purchase cable channels or hours in major U.S. metropolitan areas

• Provide CCTV programs, especially news, to public and private stations for free

• Contribute to TV stations on campuses of American universities

Infiltration of Chinese-Language Media in America

The method of infilitrating the American Chinese-language media is twofold: One is to sponsor local Chinese media groups that are registered as independent media, and then impose news censorship through direct and indirect financial control or ownership; the other is to suppress independent Chinese-language media in the United States through political and economic pressure.

In the Boston area alone, five out of the eight local Chinese-language newspapers are either controlled by, or under the heavy influence of, the Chinese government. Dr. Pengfei Wei, a physicist working at MIT who is familiar with the Boston-area Chinese community, revealed:

"Beginning with the Sino American Times, this is a free weekly newspaper previously called the Boston Chinese Report. It is believed that the Chinese government funded its expansion in August 2002. The director of this newspaper, Mr. Liping Liu, had worked for the Xinhua News Agency for many years before he and his wife came to the United States. From different sources I learned that the editing and typesetting of the Sino American Times main pages are conducted in mainland China and then forwarded to Boston for publishing."

Daily newspapers in the Boston area include China Press, Mingpao, Singtao Daily and World Journal. These newspapers are distributed across the United States, and are known to be influenced by the Chinese government, as revealed by a report in an issue of the Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief (How China’s government is attempting to control Chinese media in America, by Mei Duzhe, CHINA BRIEF, Volume 1 , Issue 10, November 21, 2001).

Inside sources revealed that the news of China Press is directly from the Xinhua News Agency or the China News Agency, which are the two major official government news agencies. "Mingpao and Singtao Daily did not have the authority to report on Hong Kong’s Article 23 legislation or SARS in a timely manner," observed by Ms. Jiang Zhu, a local reporter for The Epoch Times. Managers of these newspapers told Ms. Zhu that news is censored, such as the news about Jiang Zemin and other Chinese government officials being sued in the United States and in other countries. They also told her that, as ordered by their headquarters office, they cannot report any positive information with the words "Falun Gong," in it, or run any advertisements provided by a Falun Gong group in their newspapers, Ms. Zhu went on to say.

Dr. Samuel Zhou, Vice President of Programming at New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) and a prominent scholar on media policy in China, summarized the Chinese government’s methods for infiltrating and dominating the overseas Chinese-language media as such:

"One popular way is to build up a ‘United Front’ by inviting selected overseas media to contribute at overseas Chinese media forums. The Chinese government runs these types of conferences every year or two, and invites over 100 overseas media to attend. Individual meetings are arranged with some of the owners and/or chief editors of the local newspapers, television stations, and radio stations. Through purchasing shares, the government can gain complete ownership or own the majority of shares."

One typical example is the Singtao Newspaper Group (STNG). STNG was established in Hong Kong in 1938. In the 1960s, regional offices were established in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles to publish Singtao Daily in North America. In the late 1980s, the Chinese government bought shares from STNG’s owner Sally Aw Sian. The past decade or so has seen the transformation of Singtao Daily into a pro-Communist newspaper. Sally Aw Sian has since become a member of China’s National Political Consultative Conference. The current owner, Global China Group, established Greater China Media Services Limited, a joint venture with People’s Daily’s Da Di Distribution Center in September 2002.

"Other strategies include purchasing broadcast time and advertising space from existing independent media and to influence what they can and cannot report," said Dr. Zhou. "They also deploy government personnel to work in independent media, achieving influence from within their ranks."

Table 2. CCTV’s Global Expension Timeline

Time   Region/Field  Notes
 October 1, 1992  Asia pacific and U.S. (Satellite, Chinese)  Targeted at Chinese outside of China through PanAmSatellite (PAS)-2 Asia Pacific and PAS-3 transatlantic satellites. [3]
 Mid 1995  Europe, Middle East and Indian Subcontinent (Satellite, Chinese)  Extended CCTV’s coverage to Europe, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent and Asia through a deal with PAS. [4]
 Early 1996  Europe (Satellite, Chinese)  Started broadcasting through a
global satellite network. CCTV expects to reach 40 million Chinese living outside of China. Chinese speakers in Europe can receive five hours of late night Chinese language programming from private satellite broadcasters. [5]
 April 1996  Global (Strengthening) (Satellite, Chinese)  Added five channels to its international services on three PAS satellites.  CCTV became one of the world’s largest international broadcasters. [6]
 June 1997  Africa (Satellite, Chinese)  CCTV 24-hour international service began broadcasting throughout Africa [7]
 May 1998  U.S. (Cable, Chinese)  China Central Television’s overseas service, CCTV-4, Chinese language channel, became available to U.S. cable operators free of license fees and packaging restrictions as part of International Channel’s digital tier of ethnic services, International Premium Networks. CCTV reached more than 240 million television households in the United States [2]
 September 25, 2000  Global (Satellite, English)  CCTV officially launched its all-English channel, CCTV-9.  The new channel is on 24 hours a day, featuring newscasts every hour on the hour.
 November 2000  Philippines (Cable, English)  CCTV-9 on the cable network in Philippines via SkyCable Pacific CATV, Inc. [8]
 January 2002  U.S. (Cable, English)  CCTV-9, CCTV’s 24-hour English channel, was offered to AOL Time Warner cable audiences in New York, Los Angeles and Houston.  It also became available on cable networks in the United States owned by News Corp such as DirecTV.
 Early 2003  U.S. (Hotel chains, English)  MTV Networks distributes China’s English-language channel CCTV-9 in hotels across the U.S. [9]
 March 2003  France, UK, and Ireland (Satellite, English)  GlobeCast’s digital DTH platforms on Hot Bird and Eurobird offer CCTV-9 access to over 1.2 million TPS subscribers in France as well as 6.3 million Sky Digital subscribers across the UK and Ireland. [10]
 June 2003  South America (Cable, Chinese)  Bolivian CATV multi-system operator, Vidivision, has added China Central Television’s Mandarin-language international channel, CCTV-4, to its programming bouquet. The deal was brokered through the Chinese Embassy in Bolivia, which provided free decoders to Vidivision. The Vidivision deal brings to five the number of South American countries with cable access to CCTV programming. The others are Panama, Belize, Brazil, and Chile. [11]
 Unknown, but probably in between mid 2003 and mid 2004  UK (Cable, English)  CCTV-9, the 24-hour English channel is available on B-Sky-B cable service by British Sky Broadcasting.

 October 1, 2004  French and Spanish channel:  CCTV-E&F  CCTV-E&F is a comprehensive 24-hour news channel.  The program rotates three times a day.  In the 8 hour slot, French and Spanish programming each occupies 4 hours.  The channel covers the globe via PAS-8, PAS-9, PAS-10, Asiasat-3S and more satellites. [12]
 October 1, 2004  U.S. (Strengthening) (Satellite, multi-language)  CCTV launched partnership with EchoStar to bring a “Great Wall Satellite Platform” to EchoStar’s over 10 million DishNetwork subscribing households.  The platform included 17 channels, such as the CCTV-E&F channel, CCTV-9 English channel, and other Chinese language channels.  CCTV claimed on its web site “this indicates that the propaganda to foreign countries have stepped up to another level.  It shows that CCTV’s propaganda work towards foreign countries has experienced a huge change in both concept and operation mode.”
 February 1, 2005  Asia (Strengthening) (Satellite, multi-language)  “Asia Great Wall Satellite Platform” was the extension of the “Great Wall Satellite Platform” in north America.
 June 2, 2005  Online platform (Internet, Spanish) espanol is CCTV´s Spanish online platform for “both news releasing and cultural spreading.” (According to CCTV web site)
 In the future  Two distinct channels:  French and Spanish, plus development of Arabic and Russian channels  CCTV aims in 2006 to have two distinct channels, one in French, the other in Spanish, with more programs, news bulletins and technical resources.  Four years after the launch of an English language service, Spanish and French are just the latest step in CCTV’s global conquest, with pressure already growing for Arabic and Russian-language channels. [13]

Suppression of Independent Overseas Chinese Media

As for those few Chinese-language media agencies independent from the control of the Chinese government, the Chinese Embassy and Consulates have used political and economic means to suppress them. According to John Yu, a cameraman for NTDTV, during the visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to the United States, a staff member at the Chinese Embassy pressured White House officers to block his team of reporters from entering a U.S.-China joint press conference on December 9, 2003. On December 10, 2003, Chinese Consulate staff members from New York tried to block Radio Free Asia and The Epoch Times reporters from attending a seminar at Harvard University in Boston.

The Epoch Times has also encountered theft that specifically targeted the newspaper’s distribution. According to the newspaper’s reports, in late February 2005, The Epoch Times’ Los Angeles staff noticed that a man was stealing hundreds of copies of the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times, which was free at distribution sites in Chinese communities throughout the L.A. area. They began following this man, whom they learned was named Mr. Lum, and found the situation was far worse than they had imagined. Mr. Lum spent full time, every day, driving to distribution points throughout L.A., and stealing every single paper at each location, totaling thousands of copies each day. After finishing his route, Mr. Lum would take his pick-up truck full of papers to a recycling center, where he would earn a few extra dollars by selling those collected papers. He would only steal The Epoch Times, although other free Chinese newspapers were just as easy to take. When a reporter from The Epoch Times attempted to videotape him at the recycling center, Mr. Lum saw him and drove his truck into the reporter’s leg. Later that day, Mr. Lum was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.

Infiltrating the Chinese Community

Media infiltration goes hand-in-hand with the CCP’s effort to control the Chinese communities in the United States.

Again, we can use an example from the Boston area. At the same time when Sino American Times expanded in August 2002, the Boston Asian Culture Center (BACC) was also founded. It turns out that the Sino American Times and the BACC belong to the same parent company. Officials from the Chinese Consulate in New York are often present at BACC-held activities.

Besides business entities, community-based Chinese associations are the main targets for the Chinese Embassy and Consulates to infiltrate in order to extend CCP influence. There are many types of Chinese associations in the United States, such as student and scholar societies, cultural exchange organizations, business groups, alumni associations, and even associations of people who come from the same hometown in China. The Chinese Embassy and Consulates actively support, organize, and finance the establishment and activities of such associations in order to gain control over them. For example, on the CSSA (Chinese Scholars and Students Association) Union website (, it says, "This web site has signed an official agreement with the magazine Shen Zhou Xue Ren (Chinese Scholars and Students, an official magazine by China’s Department of Education), and has obtained great support from the Chinese Embassy and Consulates." Three out of the five named advisory board members are Chinese Consulate officials. Another one was formerly a high-ranking government official in mainland China. During the second meeting of CSSA’s Presidents in the areas serviced by the Chinese Chicago Consulate (, student leaders hoped to have more financial support from the Consulate, and vowed to continue supporting the Consulate in its struggle against anti-China forces.

Regional Chinese associations in the United States often attract their members along lines of origin. People originally from Taiwan, people from Hong Kong, and new immigrants from the mainland, for example, have their own separate associations. These associations have come to understand that they can receive funding, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from the Chinese Embassy or Consulates, as long as they are willing to maintain "friendship" with the Embassy and observe the Party line laid down by the CCP. The Chinese Embassy and the Consulates in general tend to dominate the mainland associations, while further expanding into the other associations.

Leaders of these associations are motivated by various benefits that the Chinese Embassy or Consulates offer, ranging from dinner party banquets and free movies, to cheap housing for student leaders and special treatment or business favors in mainland China. A regional union of associations is formed when the number of local associations has grown sufficiently large. Once under the Embassy and Consulates’ wing, these types of associations can serve as effective tools for the Chinese government in influencing the Chinese American communities.

Mr. Jingning Li, former president of the Chinese Student Association in the Catholic University of America said:

"The system of ‘uniting’ Chinese Americans around the Chinese Embassy has already been consolidated and is achieving great efficiency. For instance, since the persecution of Falun Gong began in July 1999, the Chinese Embassy organized and sponsored many dinners, parties, and forums through which to defame Falun Gong. Their influence in the associations guaranteed attendance of such activities and reinforced the extension of Communist policies in mainland China into U.S. territory."

One example can be taken from a criminal case tried in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago in 2002. Mr. Bill Fang, a victim in the case, told this story:

"The Chicago America-China Fujianese Association (CACFA) has close ties with the Chinese Consulate of Chicago. Its president, Zhang Liguang, said at a celebration party for CACFA’s third anniversary that the Association had been like an infant in its cradle, and thanks to the care from the Chinese General Consulate in Chicago, the Association was able to grow healthily and fast. When the Chicago Consulate was working on defaming Falun Gong, Zheng Jiming and Weng Yujun, respectively listed as the Standing Vice President and Vice President of the Association, assaulted Falun Gong practitioners in front of Chicago’s Chinese Consulate, and the two were subsequently sentenced in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago on Nov. 13, 2002, and on January 14, 2003.

"A similar incident happened in July 13, 2001. Alexander Hugh (also named Chaolian Qiu), who was the Vice President of the Chinese American Association of Greater Chicago (CAAGC), was involved in attacking Falun Gong practitioners in front of the Chicago Chinese Consulate. After the incident, Hugh was appointed in 2003 by the Chinese Consulate in Chicago to be the overseas consultant for the National Association of Returning Overseas Chinese. This National Association of Returning Overseas Chinese is led by the Chinese Communist Party and its first source of funding is from the Chinese government budgets."

Student associations in U.S. universities usually serve their members by providing social activities to promote diversity and take care of students’ interests. Yet in the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) of American University, Mr. Jun Yu, the person in charge of CSSA, told all CSSA members that they must abide by China’s law. When a student posted an email on the Listserv to initiate an activity that sought to promote freedom of belief, Mr. Jun Yu told her that she would be de-listed, and that, "We also report our situation to the Chinese Embassy by memorandum."

If the Chinese Embassy and Consulates rely only on their own staff, it is impossible to control the entire Chinese community in a country. The number of ethnic Chinese totals more than 2.4 million according to U.S. Census 2000 data. The Embassy must rely on agents and informants to monitor the Chinese community. Chen Yonglin, the former consul for political affairs at the Chinese Consulate in Sydney who defected in late May, disclosed to media that the Embassy and the Consulates "have over 1,000 agents in Australia." Mr. Chen’s claim was confirmed by another recently defected Chinese state security officer, Mr. Hao Fengjun, who arrived in Australia at the beginning of this year from his station city of Tianjing. Mr. Hao told The Epoch Times reporters, "What Chen Yonglin said about 1,000 Chinese agents in Australia is true. If we take all types of agents into account, the number is even larger."

The Chinese Embassy has various ways to punish those who object to the Chinese government’s control. From denying passport renewal for Chinese students and scholars to rejecting visa applications for Chinese Americans wanting to visit China, the Chinese Embassy has a lot of leverage against the Chinese people. In extreme cases such as the one against Ms. Jun Guo, described later in this article, relatives in China are harassed and family safety is threatened.

The degree of control that the Chinese Communist government can exercise is illustrated in another example, which occurred in October 2002. At the request of the Chinese Consulate in Houston, the Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars (FACSS) at the University of Houston organized a welcome team for the visit of then CCP General Secretary and PRC President Jiang Zemin. FACSS required all participants to sign a legal agreement. The agreement: 1) asked participants to report on activities of Falun Gong; 2) asked participants to waive their legal rights in connection with Jiang’s visit; 3) threatened to sue those who violated the "agreement."

The following is the "agreement" that the FACSS asked members to sign.

Totalitarian Control on the Mainland Extended Overseas

The gradual take-over of American Chinese media is no surprise to some Chinese Americans who have been on the receiving end of the Chinese Communist government’s tactics. Chinese Embassy and Consulate activities in the United States demonstrate that they are run by people who are not hesitant to use strong-arm methods to get their way even on the free soil of the United States. Here are two instances.

Case One

Anne Yang, an economist working at The World Bank during the day, and an amateur independent documentary film producer at night, is a woman without a nation.

"The Chinese Embassy refused to renew my passport, and I cannot go back home," Anne Yang said in an interview in Washington DC on June 4, 2005. She is not alone. Since 1999, there are 140 written cases of Chinese citizens being denied passport renewal by the Chinese embassies and consulates in more than 20 countries, according to a report by The Epoch Times. In 2004 alone, 12 written cases were denied passport renewal in the United States. Among the applicants were electrical engineers, accountants, as well as students from Stanford, Ohio State, and the University of Southern California. The reasons given by the Chinese Embassy and Consulates in the United States were the applicants’ political opinions, religious beliefs, and sometimes just a blunt answer of "no reason."

Case Two

In February 2005, Jun Guo, The Epoch Times Chief Editor, was threatened. Her family in Guangzhou, China, was visited by agents from the Chinese National Security Bureau, which functions like America’s FBI. During the conversation with Jun’s sister, who is a Psychology Professor and the Vice-Chair of the Department of Psychology at Zhongshan University in Guangzhou, the agents told her that their visit was a direct order from the central government in Beijing. They told Professor Guo to tell her sister in the United States to pay attention to her safety and the safety of her own family. The agents was very specific: "Jun’s four children go to school in Washington DC, and we are very clear about that."

This is not an isolated case either. In the greater Washington DC area, there are more than a dozen people who had similar experiences. Their parents or family members in China were visited and threatened by agents from the Chinese National Security Bureau.

June 4, 2005, marks the 16th anniversary of the massacre of pro-freedom activists at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. For the past half century and even before the take-over in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has engaged in violence to rule China. In The Black Book of Communism, a 1999 Harvard University Press release, socialist researchers established that Mao Zedong and his successors murdered 65 million Chinese. This number was based on recently opened archives from former Communist countries.

How Propaganda Brainwashes the Chinese People

How can the Chinese people live under a regime like this? Dr. Samuel Zhou said in a recent interview:

"The Communist government stresses the need to maintain stability and social order, and is committed to perpetuating the rule of the CCP and its hierarchy. To achieve this goal, it has continuously utilized propaganda that brainwashes the Chinese people. In recent years, the CCP-controlled media spread anti-American propaganda worldwide to discredit values such as freedom and democracy. This propaganda has been disseminated through Chinese-language media in mainland China, as well as Chinese media in the United States and throughout the world. Such propaganda is designed to block the Chinese people from knowing the facts and keep them away from ideas of freedom of speech and democracy.

"Along with its propaganda, the Chinese government has successfully influenced and infiltrated American societies, especially the Chinese community and Chinese—language media. Such infiltration secures an audience for the propaganda outside of China. The United States—as leader of the free world-has not done very well in penetrating the political ‘Firewall’ to reach the Chinese people with uncensored news and information and to urge them toward political reform."

The Insidious Influence of Propaganda on American Chinese

While it is hard to assess the impact of media, the influence of propaganda on people’s viewpoints can certainly accumulate and has manifested in some incidents in the past.

During the Iraq War, Chinese Central Television (CCTV) used footage provided by major foreign media, but associated the footage with a different story than what the rest of the world heard. CCTV fabricated the death tolls of Iraqi citizens and quoted many media articles from the Arab press against the Iraqi War to make it appear to the Chinese audience that the war was being supported by no one and causing tremendous death of Iraqi people.

According to a Voice of America report by Dong Fang on Feberury 2, 2003, some Chinese people who were influenced by the government-controlled media, rejoiced over the Columbia Disaster, calling it the most beautiful fireworks of the New Year (Analysis of some Chinese’ Anti-American Sentiment by Dong Fang, Voice of America, February 2, 2003).

Another example comes from an official survey conducted by the Chinese government shortly after September 11. In the survey, while 98% were sympathetic to the victims of 9/11 in the United States, 80% of the people thought the United States was a hegemony. In many of the chat rooms on the Internet, many young people expressed the opinion that it "serves the U.S. right."

Dr. Samuel Zhou commented:

"These people are not bad people; their thoughts reflect what they see and hear from state-controlled media. Unless the United States, as the leader of freedom and democracy in the world, provides an alternative, making available objective, accurate and timely information, the Chinese people will probably continue to believe the hateful anti-American propaganda that targets the United States by the Communist Government."

As to community infiltration and control, the consequence can be even bigger. For example, when the accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade happened in May 1999, over 120,000 Chinese in America were mobilized in the streets on the east coast, protesting on the same date. The event was selected for the Ten Top International News of that year by CCTV and the Xinhua News Agency.

The influence and control over the community associations by the Chinese Embassy and Consulates guarantees attendance of such activities and consequently extends CCP policies into U.S. territory. The Chinese government also uses such networks to influence American policy, as evidenced by its instruction to lobby the U.S. Congress in March 2004.

At issue was a "Dear Colleague" letter circulated in Congress that called on lawmakers to go on record supporting Taiwan’s March 10th referendum. The referendum called for peaceful means to settle the China-Taiwan issue. The Chinese Consulate organized the lobby starting with an email in Chinese, dated March 12, 2004, marked "Urgent" to Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) chairpersons in universities throughout the United States. The letter started with "The Consulate General has an important task to assign," and asked Chinese students and scholars to personally email each state’s Congress persons, urging them not to support Chen Shuibian’s "wrong action." A copy of the email is shown below.

Each Chairman,

The Consulate General has an important task to assign below:

We heard recently, Florida Congressman Peter Deutsch is trying to convince all Senators and House Representatives in the United States to co-sign and support the so-called "Defense Vote" on March 20 held by Chen Shuibian. Now please write on behalf of the Chinese Scholar/Student Associations, and also encourage Chinese students and scholars to personally write to each State’s congresspersons with e-mail, and urge them to not support Chen Shuibian’s wrong action, and hurt Chinese people’s feelings. (I put the outline of letters to congresspersons in the attachment. You can read carefully, do necessary editing, make sure your tones are sincere. Congresspersons’ e-mail addresses are also included in the attachment).

Please finish this task before March 20, definitely, and e-mail me about the situation before March 16 (especially tell me how many Chinese students and scholars you mobilized to write their personal letters to Senators and Representatives of U.S. Congress).

Hope all work with our love to the country, express our strong wish to unite our motherland with peaceful means.

Zhang Zhigang


The email was forwarded to CSSA/FACSS members in several states, and many members followed the instruction and reported to leaders in CSSA/FACSS that "Action is taken."

Moreover, the freedom offered by the U.S. political system is at great contrast to the totalitarian control in China. Free society may fail to differentiate political propaganda from cultural programs. For instance, the CCTV channel or programs on different cable networks in major metropolitan areas are treated as cultural programming and often shown on public access channels. Yet, given the content and the news manipulation in CCTV programming, it is more political than cultural. However, according to Dr. Samuel Zhou, "Oftentimes news from China’s state-owned media is considered just another point of view, and enjoys freedom of speech in the United States."

An Unequal Contest

The Chinese government is actively taking advantage of freedom of speech in the United States to spread Communist propaganda, but it does not grant U.S. media the same rights in China.

The United States is fighting its opponent with one hand tied behind its back.

Several other asymmetries are notable in China and U.S. engagement, or, competition.

Aggression vs. Reluctance

The Chinese Communist regime made systematic and consistent efforts in the past 10 years to utilize and increase its propaganda influence. By contrast, there lacked concrete policy and financial support by U.S. administrations to seriously influence China in becoming a democratic society (see Table 3).

Progressive vs. Reactive

WorldNet TV was first launched in June 1989 as a response to the Tiananmen Square Massacre (U.S. International Broadcasting Chronology: However, its current broadcasting power from the United States to China falls short compared to that of CCTV. While CCTV broadcasts 24-hour programming every day in China, WorldNet TV has only 30 hours of Mandarin programming each week. CCTV also has significant influence over the broadcasting and programming of local U.S. Chinese-language cable TV stations by providing free programs or other financial support. By contrast, WorldNet TV programs do not even focus on promoting democracy in China. The station fails to act as an alternative information source, as it does not have a news program. The impact of WorldNet TV is further diminished given the fact that the Chinese government effectively bans personal ownership of C-band receiver dishes, which are needed to pick up WorldNet TV’s signal.

State-Sponsored Infiltration vs. Insufficiently Protected Independent Media

The Chinese Communist regime’s effort to spread propaganda worldwide is backed up by its state resources, including its political, financial, and human power. The few independent Chinese-language media groups in the West are often created and run by traditional businessmen, political dissidents, and new immigrants who seek to promote education and American values to the Chinese people. These groups often lack financial resources for large-scale operations, often find it difficult to make ends meet, and are much less equipped to battle state-sponsored suppression. Independent media also lack resources for public relations and political lobbying activities. Furthermore, they are not in a very strong position to acquire legal protection when their businesses are interfered with. The consequence is that many Chinese media organizations that intended to be independent at the beginning have eventually been bought up or influenced by the Chinese government (see Table 4).

So far, it’s been a big victory for a totalitarian regime when China’s propaganda machine is allowed to freely exploit the freedom of speech in the United States and influence American citizens. In doing so, the United States is unwittingly legitimizing Beijing’s power over its own people as well as the Chinese people residing in the States.

[1] Seven days a week unless specified.
[2] Regular 24 hr. program unless specified.
[3] From CCTV International web site.
[4] "CHINA BRIEFS: CHINA CENTRAL TELEVISION" by Telenews Asia, May 18,1995 published by 3rd Wave Communications Pty Ltd.
[5] "Worldwide Chinese TV service" by Music & Copyright: February 15,1995, published by FT Information Online Ltd.
[6] "PanAmSat, CCTV Eye Expansion" by Space News, April 8,1996, published by Army Times Publishing Co.
[7] "CCTV to Africa" by Hollywood Reporter, June 10,1997, published by BPI Communications, Inc.
[8] CHINA’S CCTV-9 TO BE LAUNCHED IN PHILIPPINES" by Asia Pulse News, November 8, 2000, published by Asia Pulse Pte Ltd.
[9] "MTV’s clearance for 24-hour China channel" by Television Asia, April 4, 2003, published by Cahners Business Information.
[10] "China Central Television Chooses GlobeCast’s DTH Platform" by Satellite Today, March 13, 2003, published by PBI Media, LLC.
[11] "CCTV extends Latin American influence" by Asia Image, June 10, 2003, published by Reed Business Information.
[12] CCTV Chinese language web site.
[13] "AUDIOVISUAL SECTOR: CHINESE TELEVISION POSTS INTERNATIONAL AMBITIONS" by Tech Europe, December 10, 2004, published by Europe Information Service.
[14] "China’s media: radio, TV expand and newspapers hold readers" by Market Asia Pacific, December 2000, published by PRS Group.
[15] From CCTV International web site.