US ends exchange programmes with China, calling them ‘propaganda’ - GulfToday

US ends exchange programmes with China, calling them ‘propaganda’


Chinese and US flags flutter near The Bund, in Shanghai, China. File/Reuters

Gulf Today Report

The US State Department said on Friday it has ended five cultural exchange programmes with China, calling them “soft power propaganda tools.”

Earlier, China's securities regulator said on Friday that US legislation that threatens to kick Chinese firms off its exchanges is "clearly discriminatory" and politically driven, but China is still willing to talk.

The US Congress passed legislation on Wednesday that would force Chinese firms to delist from US exchanges unless they abide by US accounting rules. It is expected soon to be signed into law by US President Donald Trump.


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The US State Department said on its website it had “terminated” the Policymakers Educational China Trip Programme, the US-China Friendship Programme, the US-China Leadership Exchange Programme, the US-China Transpacific Exchange Programme and the Hong Kong Educational and Cultural Programme.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said in a statement that the "Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act" is "clearly discriminatory" and not based on professional grounds.

The Act would force US-listed companies to prove that they are not controlled by a foreign government, and require companies name Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials on their boards, and disclose whether their articles of incorporation contains any charter of the CCP.

"We firmly oppose such acts of politicizing securities supervision," CSRC said.

The US State Department further said that the programmes had been set up under the auspices of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act — a 1961 law signed by President John F. Kennedy and aimed at boosting academic and cultural exchanges with foreign countries.

“While other programmes funded under the auspices of the MECEA are mutually beneficial, the five programs in question are fully funded and operated by the (Chinese) government as soft power propaganda tools,” the statement said.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately return a message seeking comment on the move. Attempts to reach representatives for the programs singled out by the State Department were not immediately successful.

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