Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Chinese mouthpiece paid American newspapers $19 million for advertising, printing: Report

Representative Image: ANI

Washington D.C. (ANI): One of China's main propaganda outlets has paid American newspapers nearly USD19 million for advertising and printing expenses over the past four years. The Daily Caller reported citing documents filed with the US Justice Department.

China Daily, an English-language newspaper controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, has more than USD4.6 million to The Washington Post and nearly USD6 million to The Wall Street Journal since November 2016, the documents showed.

Both newspapers have published paid supplements that China Daily produces called 'China Watch.' The inserts are designed to look like real news articles, though they often contain a pro-Beijing spin on contemporary news events.

One insert from September 2018 touted an initiative pushed by China President Xi Jinling with the headline: "Belt and Road aligns with African nations." The same insert ran a story titled "Tariffs to taks toll on US homebuyers" that asserted that US tariffs on Chinese lumber would raise the cost of building homes in the United States.

As per the Justice Department reports, China Daily also paid for advertising in several other newspapers, including The New York Times (USD50,000), Foreign Policy(USD240,000), The Des Moines Register (USD34,600) and CQ-Roll Call (USD76,000). It spent a total of USD11,002628 on advertising in US newspapers, and another USD265,822 on advertising with Twitter.

The Justice Department has for years required Chine Daily to disclose its activities semi-annually under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The most recent filing, which China Daily submitted on June 1, is the first to include detailed breakdowns of payments to American news outlets. The outlet disclosed those expenditures for the period between November 2016 and April 2020.

The Los Angeles Times, The Seattle Times, The Atlanta Journal-Counstituation, The Chicago Tribune, The Houston Chronicle and The Boston Globe are all listed as clients of China Daily. The Chinese outlet paid the Los Angeles Times $657,523 for printing services, according to the FARA filings.

Pro-democracy group have long warned about the Chinese government;s attempts to push propaganda through American news outlets.

The report comes at a time when China Daily as well as other Beijing-controlled propaganda media outlets have come under intense scrutiny owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Chinese government officials have tried to divert blame for the spread of the virus to the Unted States and other Western nations. Many of the regime-controlled outlets, including China Daily, have echoed the communist leader' talking points. (ANI)

Vande Bharat Mission: Around 40,000 Indian national registered with us, says Indian Ambassador to US

Taranjit Singh Sandhu, India's Ambassador to US. (Photo: ANI)
Washington D.C (ANI): Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Indian Ambassador to US, on Monday (local time) while speaking about Vande Bharat Mission, said that around 40,000 Indian nationals here have registered so far.

"Vande Bharat Mission started in the US on May 7 and now its almost completing one month. We have had about 16 flights so far. We have had about 40,000 Indian nationals who have registered with us. So far, we have been able to take about 5000," he told ANI "The first phase, we went in a very scientific way, We created a special site on which we got the total numbers. And this is an emergency avacuation flight. So based on the requirements of them going back, the first two phases, 16 flights, 5000 people have gone. Now the thrid phase will start on June 11 and will go on till July 1," he added.

The phased evacuation is being carried out under phase 2 of the Government of India's ambitious 'Vande Bharat' mission which started on May 16. The third phase of the mission will begin from June 11.

The Ambassador informed that booking for this phase will be done directly by Air India for people who registered themselves on the Embassy website.

"There are approximatelly 50 flights which are going to go. But in this phase, the booking will be done directly by air India for the people who have registered themselves on the embassy website. If somebody has not registered, you can still go and do that. And then towards the end, we will take a look again at what are the total numbers which are left and then it will be decided whether to extend it further or not," he added.

Regarding commercial flights, the Ambassador pointed out that the Minister of Civil aviation in India has very recently stated it is under consideration, but they also need to know because different countries are having different rules about permitting international passenger coming in or not.

"So, once they have gone through all that study, a decision will be taken, again, based on international requirements plus the health situation in India, to allow international flights also to come in. As you know, the domestic flights have already started within India," he added. (ANI)

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