Public University Professor Routinely Writes Articles for Chinese Propaganda Outlet

A professor at a public, taxpayer-funded university in Michigan regularly writes articles for a Chinese propaganda outlet working to delegitimize the United States.

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) professor Joel Wendland-Liu has written multiple articles for China Global Television Network (CGTN), which is owned and operated by the Chinese government. According to detailed reports from the Guardian, Beijing has purchased several media outlets to "tell China's story well" as part of a larger worldwide propaganda campaign. CGTN is one of them. It pushes an anti-capitalist, anti-American narrative that many experts believe advances the Chinese Communist Party's global influence.

Wendland-Liu has written several articles for the site, including one that conflates Trump supporters who disapprove of mask-wearing with those who support Nazis and police brutality. He also writes for an American communist outlet called People's World, wherein Wendland-Liu routinely criticizes white people for being committed to American capitalism (Wendland-Liu is white).  On Twitter, the professor even promoted a Chinese propaganda campaign that claims Western governments are levying "false allegations of genocide and slavery" regarding the imprisonment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

A GVSU spokeswoman told the Washington Free Beacon that the school did not object to the professor's role at either outlet.

"When writing for publications, [professors] are expressing their own views and not those of the university," the spokeswoman said. "Faculty members often do freelance work outside of their university employment, and they are allowed to do so."

Neither GVSU nor Wendland-Liu responded to inquiries about whether he was paid by CGTN.

GVSU College Republicans board member Trevor Blood said the university is condoning the actions of the Chinese Communist Party.

"By not condemning this behavior by its staff, Grand Valley is inherently condoning these actions," Blood told the Free Beacon. "To say I am disappointed in [GVSU] would be an understatement."

Wendland-Liu is hardly the most prominent American to toe the Chinese Communist Party line. Max Baucus, a Biden surrogate and former Obama ambassador to China, gave at least four different interviews to Chinese state-run media in May alone, during which he repeatedly compared U.S. rhetoric about China to Nazi demagoguery. Baucus has been a consistent critic of the Trump administration's antagonistic trade policies with China and has appeared on CGTN to promote his beliefs.

According to a Free Beacon report, Chinese outlets push anti-Trump rhetoric as part of a deliberate propaganda operation. In one instance, CGTN amplified Baucus's claim that Americans are worried about "getting their heads chopped off" if they voice disagreement with the U.S. government's China policy.

Beijing also disseminates propaganda via Confucius Institutes, which are on-campus centers for Chinese-sanctioned programming. The Chinese government has funneled $150 million to U.S. universities to push Chinese cultural lessons, all of which bar staff from discussing topics considered taboo by the Chinese government, such as the imprisonment of Uighur Muslims and the protests in Hong Kong.

Posted in: Campus
Tags: China, Confucius Institutes, Global Television Network, Propaganda

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