(Minghui.org) The United States recently started taking actions against the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) propaganda apparatus that operates in America. It designated five communist media outlets as “foreign missions,” and started to close Confucius Institutes, another Chinese government-funded agency that exports communist ideology to the Western world.

Five Communist Media Outlets Designated as “Foreign Missions”

The Department of State declared five CCP official media organizations as “foreign missions” on February 18, 2020, including Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network (CGTN), China Radio International (CRI), China Daily Distribution Corp., and Hai Tian Development USA, which distributes People’s Daily in the U.S.

The designation took effect immediately. It required these five organizations to provide names, personal details, and turnover of staff in the United States to the State Department; to report whether they own or lease property in the United States; and to obtain permission in advance if they plan to purchase real estate property in the United States.

A State Department official said, “(T)here is no dispute that all five of these entities are part of the People’s Republic China (PRC) party state propaganda news apparatus. I mean, they take their orders directly from the top, and we’re merely recognizing that by placing them on our foreign missions list.”

People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, and China Media Group, which runs CGTN and CRI, are the CCP’s three major propaganda organizations. China Daily, whose main product is its English newspaper, has also long been an important mouthpiece of CCP’s propaganda over other countries.

People’s Daily is under the CCP’s Central Committee. Xinhua News Agency is a ministry-level business unit under China’s State Council. China Daily, with America headquarters in New York, is owned by the CCP Central Committee’s Propaganda Department and operated by the State Council Information Office. CGTN originated from the China Central Television (CCTV) foreign language channel, with its North America station located in Washington, DC. CRI has a production studio in Los Angles.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement, “In China, all media works for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as General Secretary Xi Jinping has explicitly stated. Since these organizations work for the CCP, it is only fitting that we treat them as foreign missions, meaning they are subject to State Department regulation.”

This is not the first time that the U.S. has taken action against the CCP media. The U.S. Department of Justice required Xinhua and CGTN to register as “foreign agents” in September 2018.

In 2019, CGTN’s application for renewal of its media reporter credentials at Congress was denied. The Radio and Television Correspondents Association (RTCA) stated that according to regulation, foreign agent organizations could not be granted media credentials to access Congress.

Closing “Confucius Institutes”

Beijing launched the Confucius Institute program via Hanban (officially the Office of Chinese Language Council International, a bureau-level organ under China’s Ministry of Education). Its headquarters is in Beijing.

“(Confucius Institutes program) has made an important contribution toward improving our soft power,” said Li Changchun, former CCP Politburo Standing Committee member who was in charge of propaganda.

According to Beijing’s official sites, the CCP has appropriated a few billion dollars to establish a total of 535 Confucius Institutes and 1,134 Confucius Classrooms, which together enrolled 1.87 million students in 158 countries and regions, in the 15 years between 2004 and 2019. 

The U.S. still had about 110 Confucius Institutes a few years ago, but some universities are taking actions to shut down the institutes. 

The University of Maryland announced on January 17, 2020 that it will close its Confucius Institute this year, following the federal regulation. This was the first Confucius Institute in the U.S., which was set up in 2004. 

The University of Missouri also announced the closing of its Confucius Institute scheduled for August 2020. Near 20 Confucius Institutes in the United States have been closed in the past two years.

McMaster University in Canada pointed out that Confucius Institutes’ teacher hiring standards discriminated against religion and freedom of speech, and therefore it decided to close it in 2013.

Chicago University closed its Confucius Institute in 2014, after over 100 professors signed a petition against the Confucius Institute.

Director Doris Liu released a documentary movie “In the Name of Confucius” in 2017, to expose how the CCP spreads its political propaganda under the disguise of promoting Chinese language and Chinese culture.