It was reported that during her 2022 re-election campaign, Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez invested in campaign ads in Sing Tao Newspapers. This newspaper, the US branch of the Hong Kong-based Sing Tao News Corporation, was found by the Department of Justice to be excessively supportive of the Chinese government and was required to register as a foreign agent in August 2021.
AOC, other politicians paid thousands in campaign cash to Chinese foreign agent https://t.co/90lyf2ogB4
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 2, 2023
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with fellow Democratic Representatives Kevin Mullin and Grace Meng and Republican Representative Nicole Malliotakis, paid between $1,000 to $7,000 to advertise their campaigns in Sing Tao Newspapers. This choice to work with the paper was made after the Department of Justice had already declared it as a foreign agent. Before its designation, the newspaper had previously reported on Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's involvement in a 2020 foreign-language media roundtable.
Sing Tao News Corporation runs the oldest Chinese-language newspaper in Hong Kong and asserts that it is privately owned and unlinked to the Chinese Communist Party. However, recent investigations revealed that the majority ownership was acquired by the daughter of a well-off mainland property developer. Additionally, more than half of the material published in the US by Sing Tao originates from Star Production Limited, a firm located in Shenzhen, China.
Due to the tight control that President Xi Jinping's Chinese government exerts over news dissemination within the country, concerns have arisen regarding potential biases in the content produced by Sing Tao. The Council on Foreign Relations reported that China has a highly restrictive media environment, relying on censorship to regulate information in the news, online, and on social media. Guidelines for censorship are distributed on a weekly basis from the Communist Party's propaganda department and the government's Bureau of Internet Affairs to influential editors and media providers.
The choice to advertise in Sing Tao Newspapers has generated controversy among Americans who are worried about the impact of supporting a media outlet tied to an authoritarian regime. On Facebook, AOC was questioned about why she would back a newspaper that targeted peaceful protesters in Hong Kong. She replied by saying that she was not aware of its association with the Chinese government when she made the decision to advertise with them.
Ultimately, it is important for citizens to be aware of where their elected officials are spending their money and what kind of messages they are sending by doing so. In this case, it appears that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez was unaware of the implications of advertising with a Chinese Communist newspaper, but it is important for her and all elected officials to be mindful of where their money is going and how it could be interpreted by their constituents.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Trending Politics