China’s Interest in Mexican Radio Sparks Concerns of Propaganda

A Chinese company's takeover of a radio station in Mexico that has a reach across Southern California has sparked worries that the channel will be used by Beijing to spread its communist propaganda in the U.S. (Image via  pixabay  /  CC0 1.0)
A Chinese company's takeover of a radio station in Mexico that has a reach across Southern California has sparked worries that the channel will be used by Beijing to spread its communist propaganda in the U.S. (Image via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

A Chinese company’s takeover of a Spanish language radio station that has a reach across Southern California has sparked worries that the channel will be used by Beijing to spread its communist propaganda in the U.S.

The takeover

The radio station in question, XEWW-AM, is based out of Mexico and covers almost the entire Southern part of California. The purchase was made by H&H Group, a New York-based investment company.

“The applicant proposes to provide a full range of Mandarin Chinese language programming… including music, entertainment, weather reports, local (Los Angeles) traffic reports, and local Chinese community news,” The Epoch Times quotes a U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing.

An investigation into H&H revealed that Beijing-born U.S. citizen Vivian Huo holds almost a 97 percent stake in the company. However, a more interesting fact is that H&H also has connections to Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV, which is owned by an ex-Chinese military official who is said to have deep connections to the Communist Party. Moreover, China’s state-run CCTV channel also has about a 10 percent share in Phoenix TV.

H&H Group has connections to Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV, which is owned by an ex Chinese military official who is said to have deep connections to the communist party. (Image: Exploringlife via wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0)

H&H Group has connections to Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV, which is owned by an ex-Chinese military official who is said to have deep connections to the Communist Party. (Image: Exploringlife via CC BY-SA 4.0)

Such deep involvement of people linked to the Chinese Communist Party has raised concerns that Beijing will use the radio station to brainwash Chinese-origin people from the Southern part of California. Such a concern was raised by Los Angeles-based Chinese broadcaster KQEV, who made it clear that they were very apprehensive about the entire deal.

“If the programming of XEWW-AM is tainted by, or worse controlled by, the Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese American community of Southern California could be indoctrinated with CCP propaganda, and the American political and economic community could be damaged.  An investigation of this issue is necessary,” The Washington Free Beacon quotes a petition made by KQEV.

China’s radio propaganda empire

Investigations into the Communist Party’s propaganda initiative have uncovered a vast radio station network built by Beijing that seeks to brainwash people with their ideology. Research by Reuters found that China has 33 radio stations all over the world, broadcasting programs aimed at projecting the Chinese Communist Party as a good force.

In the U.S., Beijing-funded WCRW radio station has been known to broadcast misleading programs that make the United States look like an aggressor and China as the defender.

A case in point — China’s highly provocative island project in which Beijing builds artificial islands in the South China Sea to lay claim to the region. The U.S. has for long objected to such undemocratic and predatory tactics by the Chinese. Yet when WCRW broadcasts the news, they blame outside forces for creating problems.

The US has long objected China’s highly provocative island project in which Beijing builds artificial islands in the South China Sea in order to lay claim to the region. (Image: wikimedia / CC0 1.0)

The U.S. has long objected to China’s highly provocative island project in which Beijing builds artificial islands in the South China Sea in order to lay claim to the region. (Image: wikimedia / CC0 1.0)

WCRW was found to be under lease by G&E studio, which is, in turn, 60 percent owned by an organization backed by the Chinese communist government. CEO of G&E had an interesting thing to say about Chinese broadcasts in the U.S.

“Our U.S. audience and our U.S. public has the choice. They can choose to listen or not listen. I think this is an American value,” Reuters quotes him.

While it is true that the freedom to choose what to listen to is a value that Americans are proud of, it is quite ironic that the Chinese, who severely curb the rights of their own fellow citizens, use the freedoms found in the U.S. to propagate ideologies against the U.S. itself. It is time that U.S. authorities took a good look at Chinese-backed radio stations on the basis of national security.

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