With everyone’s attention focused on the coronavirus outbreak, a reporter affiliated with the Communist Party of China took advantage of an opportunity on Monday to attend a press briefing and ask President Trump questions that led him to ask if she is “working for China.”
The woman who attended the briefing is actually aligned with the Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV outlet and a member of the White House Foreign Press Group with rotating access to White House press briefings. According to an article posted on Tuesday by Peter Hasson, an editor with the Daily Caller website: “That is how the Phoenix TV reporter was able to push pro-Beijing talking points and [tout] Chinese aid to other countries.”
Hasson describe her as a “reporter from a Hong Kong outlet aligned with the Communist Party of China.”
While the reporter replied that her company is private and based in Hong Kong, China Wise International Limited, a subsidiary of a Chinese government-run bank, owns a minority stake in the media company. Hasson explained, “The Hoover Institution, a public policy think tank at Stanford University, describes Phoenix TV as a ‘quasi-official’ news outlet with links to China’s Ministry of State Security.”
Richard Latendresse, a Canadian journalist who serves as the secretary for the White House Foreign Press Group, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an email that the Phoenix TV reporter is a member of that organization. She “is a member of the White House Correspondents Association,” Latendresse added. “As a result, she became a member of the White House Foreign Press Group because she is a member of the WHCA,” he stated.
In addition, Hasson noted: “The White House declined to comment on whether it would revoke the Phoenix TV reporter’s hard press pass.”
Also chiming in on the situation was Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who called it “disgraceful and reckless” that Phoenix TV is allowed into the press briefings amid China’s propaganda campaign meant to absolve itself of responsibility for the virus’s outbreak.
In 2018, I warned @FCC about Phoenix TV a nominally "private" company long financially controlled by China state-owned enterprises
It’s disgraceful & reckless they have a seat at WH press briefings as China wages a propaganda campaign to cover up its role in #CoronavirusPandemic.
The media outlet is owned by a former Chinese military officer with close ties to Beijing officials, pro-democracy think tank Freedom House said in a 2017 report. “Phoenix TV’s coverage is typically favorable to the CCP [Chinese Communist Party],” the report noted -- even during coronavirus outbreaks.