Over the last two years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has paid a Washington D.C.-based radio station to the tune of over $4 million to broadcast Chinese propaganda, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The deal was first revealed last Thursday, when the Potomac Media Group filed a report with the Department of Justice detailing the conditions of the agreement. Potomac was paid $4.4 million by the CCP’s International Communications Planning Bureau (ICPB). In return for the payment, Potomac’s AM radio station WCRW would re-air content from the Chinese Global Television Network (CGTN), as well as various talk shows and interviews depicting China as an ally and a positive influence.
In addition, Potomac was required to provide the ICPB with analytics on its ratings, audience feedback, and “evaluation from international organizations.” The payments began in July 2019 and continued until August 2021. CGTN in particular was forced by the DOJ to register as a foreign agent back in February 2019, four months before signing the deal with Potomac.
The deal with a radio station based in the nation’s capital is only the latest example of the Chinese government’s efforts to spread their propaganda through American outlets. One of the CCP’s state-run newspapers, China Daily, has made similar financial deals with American publications such as Time magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Policy to publish Chinese content online. The Chinese government has also sought to use American social media to its advantage, hiring American social media “influencers” to promote the upcoming 2022 Olympic games in Beijing.