WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) warned FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a letter this week that a bid to broadcast Chinese programming into the United States is a form of information warfare.
The FCC is currently reviewing a June 20 application from a New York-based limited liability company named H&H Group USA, owned 97 percent by Beijing-born U.S. citizen Vivan Huo, and Mexican broadcasting station XEWW to deliver “a full range of Mandarin Chinese language programming on station XEWW-AM including music, entertainment, weather report, local (L.A.) traffic report and local Chinese community news.”
“I am concerned that approving this application would enhance the ability of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) to broadcast objectionable political propaganda into America and to interfere in domestic American politics,” Cruz wrote to Pai. “I respectfully request that the Commission deny the H&H Group’s pending application.”
The senator says that some information on H&H is not included in the application, including a statement on their website that Huo “spent half a decade as the New York correspondent for one of China’s largest publications” — the Global Times, owned by the state-run People’s Daily — and that the company “assists PRC companies with finding strategic investors from around the globe.”
“CCP state-run China Radio International (CRI) president Wang Gengnian has described China’s use of local media in foreign countries as ‘borrowing a boat to go out to sea.’ Wang emphasized the need for China to target foreign media to ‘compete to lead international public opinion’ and ‘set the agenda’ on the global stage,” Cruz wrote. “As part of the ‘borrowed boat’ strategy CRI has previously partnered with foreign radio stations such as Turkish FM station Yön Radyo which was utilized to present the CCP narrative in the aftermath of the 2009 Ürümqi riots. According to Wang, positive feedback from Turkish listeners demonstrated the benefits of ‘effective international broadcasting targeted at a specific group.'”
Cruz wrote that “the Chinese Communist Party is waging an information warfare campaign to undermine American democracy” and thus “the decision before the Commission risks allowing the CPC to broadcast government-approved propaganda into Southern California, one of the most densely populated regions in America of Mandarin speakers, to boost that warfare campaign.”
“The Commission should reject the application, given the unresolved and undisclosed details surrounding the application,” he added.