The National Pulse
Global Media Summit

EXCLUSIVE: Major Western Media – CNN, BBC, Reuters, AP – Participated in Chinese Communist Party’s ‘Global Media Summit’

The National Pulse can reveal that major Western news outlets have been participating in a Chinese Communist Party-run ‘Global Media Summit’ for years, lending the legitimacy of their outlets to CCP propaganda.

The organization behind the summit was recently listed as a “foreign agent” by the U.S. government.

In 2017, the Chinese Communist Party’s state-owned propaganda networks China Central Television (CCTV) and the China Global Television Network (CGTN) co-hosted a ‘Global Media Summit‘ in China’s Hainan province to address the CCP’s role in global media.

CGTN has existed as a foreign propaganda outlet since 1997, while its parent company CCTV has been around since the 1970s. Even YouTube, owned by Google, demarcates CGTN clips with a disclaimer that reads: “CGTN is funded in whole or in part by the Chinese government”.

But that didn’t stop Western media agencies collaborating in events over the course of 2017 and 2018.

Listed attendees included The Associated Press (AP), Reuters, CNN, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, China Daily, Phoenix Satellite Television, AFP, BBC, Fox, and Google.

Reuters’ John Pullman at the CCP-run media summit

At the 2017 summit, five broadcasters from CGTN, CNN, Russia Today, Al Jazeera, and ARD participated in a panel discussion on “media convergence” according to CGTN’s own reports of the event.

The National Pulse has verified the attendance of Reuters’ John Pullman, then-Huffington Post editor (and now NBC editorial director) Jessica Prois, as well as CNN’s Andrew Stevens, the Associated Press’s Managing Editor Brian Carovillano, and the BBC’s Hong Kong Bureau Chief Vivian Wu.

CGTN images show the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Hong Kong Bureau Chief Vivian Wu (far right) sharing a stage with Chinese state propagandists

In step with the 2017 conference’s theme A Shared Future’, CGTN Controller Jiang Heping said in his keynote address: “In the media today, only integration can be the king.”

Wary of Chinese Communist Party propaganda and integration with Chinese government-sanctioned entities, the United States Justice Department registered CGTN as a foreign agent in early 2019 by a process known as The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), originally passed in 1938 to expose covert Nazi-influence campaigns in the United States.

CNN’s Andrew Stevens on the CCP panel

Some have vehemently disavowed CGTN’s parent company – China Central Television (CCTV) – as a “long standing weapon in Beijing’s arsenal of repression.”

Freedom House’s Sarah Cook noted last September:

The broadcaster has achieved a truly global reach, meaning its content has the potential to shape the perceptions of hundreds of millions of people within and beyond China’s borders. The fact that this content is heavily distorted to suit the CCP’s political agenda poses a growing challenge for news consumers, regulators, journalists, advertisers, and others around the world.

Still, CCTV maintains close ties with the Chinese Communist Party and its officials.

CCTV’s President, Shen Haixiong, belongs to the Chinese Communist Party and currently serves as an alternate member of the Central Committee. Prior to his role at CCTV, Shen Haixiong led the Propaganda Department of Guangdong Province.

The Associated Press was represented at the highest level, by Brian Carovillano, Managing Editor of the Associated Press

Functioning as an overt propaganda arm of the Chinese Communist Party, CCTV and its affiliate stations aggressively target political enemies – most recently the Hong Kong protesters.

CGTN’s social media pages compare Hong Kong’s freedom fighters to Islamist militants backed by US spy agencies and promote false reports like a Hong Kong protestor blinding a woman actually struck in the eye by a police bean bag round.

Russia Today and Al Jazeera, additional CGTN Global Media Summit attendees, wage global disinformation campaigns of their own.

After Russia attempted to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election, the United States Justice Department forced Russia Today – the Kremlin’s state-run propaganda machine – to register as a foreign agent in the US. Pressure is mounting for Al Jazeera, Qatar’s terror-funding propaganda media group, to receive similar treatment.

Committed to exposing CCP mouthpieces and their bedfellows, the National Pulse recently outed CCP propagandist Youyou Wang when she lied to President Trump about working for the Chinese government at a press event in April.

Despite claims to the contrary, Youyou Wang works for a CCP majority-owned station called Phoenix Satellite Television. Considering the Chinese Communist Party’s 65 percent stake in the company, it is unsurprising Lyu Ningsi – editor-in-chief of Phoenix Satellite Television – attended CGTN’s 2017 Global Media Summit in China.

When CCTV launched CGTN as an international branch to further their global reach, President Xi Jinping urged the state broadcast network to “keep close to the audiences in an all-round fashion and make use of the media convergence” to “let the world meet a China that is multi-dimensional and colorful.”

In reality, CCTV and its affiliates fuel the Chinese Communist Party’s global propaganda apparatus.

If journalists and media executives at CNN, the BBC, the Associated Press, Reuters, and others care at all about China’s egregious human rights record, brutal colonization efforts in Africa, intellectual property theft, or the novel coronavirus cover-up, they will step out from behind the Great Firewall and condemn China’s authoritarian regime.

The news follows the revelation that the Wall Street Journal knowingly published Chinese Communist Party propaganda, and revelations about how the CCP uses Western “analysts” to further its fake news abroad.

Raheem Kassam contributed to this report

Kingsley Cortes

Kingsley Cortes is a 2020 Writing Fellow for the National Pulse