by WorldTribune Staff, April 8, 2020
The leftist White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) is being asked to explain why it allowed a reporter from a known Chinese propaganda outlet access to Monday’s White House coronavirus briefing.
President Donald Trump called out the reporter from Phoenix TV after she made statements which promoted Chinese interests.
“Only last week there were multiple flights coming from China full of medical supplies, companies like Huawei and Alibaba has been donating to the United States like 1.5 million N95 masks and also a lot of medical gloves and much more medical supplies,” the reporter from Phoenix TV said.
“That sounds like a statement more than a question,” Trump interjected.
“The Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai last night wrote a op-ed in The New York Times calling for cooperation with the United States,” the reporter continued. “So are you personally working directly with China on medical supplies and fighting with the virus?”
After Trump answered with information on how the administration is working with China on trade, the reporter asked “Are you cooperating with China?”
Trump responded: “Who are your working for, China? You work for China? Who are you with?”
“Hong Kong Phoenix TV,” the reporter responded. “It’s based in Hong Kong.”
“Who owns that, China?” Trump pressed. “Is it owned by China?”
“It’s based in Hong Kong,” the reporter said.
“Is it owned by the state? Trump asked.
“No, it’s not,” the reporter claimed. “It’s a private owned company.”
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said in a tweet that Phoenix TV “has been waging information warfare in the US for yrs. They are nominally private but actually state owned. MSM should NEVER have given them seat at WH press conference.”
Related: White House press corps seeks to silence Asian American correspondent, April 7, 2020
Cruz added: “So to recap, the WH Correspondents Assoc gave a seat at the WH press briefing to an employee of the Chinese Communist govt, to ask globally televised Qs to POTUS, at the same time China is waging a propaganda campaign to hide their culpability & coverup of the Wuhan virus?!?”
The WHCA controls which outlets have access to Trump’s coronavirus briefings and recently banned a Korean-American correspondent for One American News Network who had called out her colleagues for repeating Chinese government talking points.
“Why is an outlet with such close ties to Communist China allowed in the White House briefing room?” Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar asked in a tweet.
The Washington Free Beacon reported in late 2018 that a former Phoenix TV news director, Chung Pong, testified that Phoenix TV is controlled by China’s “Communist Propaganda Department”.
“I know from personal experience that Phoenix TV’s content is subject to the dictates of the leadership of the Central Communist Propaganda Department, Central Communist Overseas Propaganda Office, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which often directly sent instructions to Phoenix Satellite TV,” Pong said in a statement included in an FCC filing, according to the Free Beacon.
“Phoenix TV has been identified by U.S. intelligence agencies as a major overseas outlet used to spread propaganda and promote the policies of the communist government in Beijing,” the Free Beacon added. “The Hong Kong television station also has close ties to China’s intelligence service and military.”
Additionally, a 2017 report from Freedom House noted that Phoenix TV is “owned by a former military officer [Liu Changle] with close ties to Beijing officials” and produces coverage that is “typically favorable to the CCP.”
“Moreover, over the past two years, it has been used as an outlet for airing televised confessions by various detained CCP [Communist Party of China] critics, most notably all five Hong Kong booksellers abducted by Chinese security forces in late 2015,” the report continued. “Such coverage is perhaps not coincidental, considering that CCTV [China Central Television] reportedly holds a 10 percent stake in Phoenix.”
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