A freshman Republican is calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to stop the circulation of a newspaper to lawmakers that is controlled by the Chinese communist party.
Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) made a splash with a letter to the House Speaker expressing her dismay at receiving the China Daily, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
China Daily distributed to Congress
China Daily has been registered as a foreign agent since 1983 under the Foreign Agents Registration Act and is considered communist propaganda by the U.S. State Department. The newspaper’s employees are banned from congressional press galleries.
However, the paper has been in circulation at Capitol for years despite the controversy, the Free Beacon notes.
Hinson was appalled at receiving a copy and sent a sharp letter to Pelosi, demanding that she stop circulating the “offensive garbage” unsolicited and at taxpayer expense.
“Frankly, I was appalled when I walked into work Friday morning and saw my office had received an unsolicited copy of China Daily,” Hinson told the Free Beacon.
“How can we expect the American people to trust that Congress will take on the Chinese Communist Party when its dangerous propaganda is being delivered right to our doorstep? I wrote to the speaker immediately and asked her to address this issue,” Hinson said.
Paper broke federal law to buy propaganda ads
China Daily has come under scrutiny from lawmakers and the Justice Department over alleged FARA violations that were first reported by the Free Beacon, which found that the paper failed to disclose its spending on propaganda in mainstream American newspapers like the New York Times.
“China Daily’s important role in China’s foreign disinformation campaign warrants a full-fledged investigation into the extent of China Daily’s FARA violations,” said Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO), Tom Cotton (R-AK), and Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) in a letter to the Justice Department last year.
The newspaper has spent $19 million dollars on American ad buys since 2016, according to the DOJ.
President Donald Trump, who is leaving office in just a week, has made countering China’s rising economic power and global influence a priority.
Concerns about Chinese spying were revived when it was discovered last year that Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) had ties to a Chinese spy. Pelosi came under fire for having promoted Swalwell to the sensitive House Intelligence Committee, but nothing tangible has come out of the controversy.