Democrats had high expectations for the China bill, invented the Eagle act, was an opportunity to stop the onslaught of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda spreading in the US corporate media. Yet the Democrats on the Foreign Affairs Committee let this opportunity slip away. By voting against my amendment to the Eagle Act, Democrats opted to continue to send taxpayer money to Hollywood studios that do the CCP’s propaganda.
Most Hollywood residents know that to access the growing Chinese market, filmmakers, directors and actors must abide by the rules of the Chinese Communist Party and in the words of President Xi Jinping, tell the story of China well. This does not mean any mention of gross human rights violations by the CCP, aggressive cyber warfare, predatory economic behavior around the world, or intimidation from neighboring countries, especially Taiwan.
The weight of coercion imposed on Hollywood is significant. I introduced the Hollywood Amendment hold movie studios responsible for subjecting their films to CCP censorship and amplifying their propaganda.
No American studio should get federal funding or aid if it is prepared to push the CCP’s lies on the American people. Truth be told, I am not supporting taxpayer money for any Hollywood project, but refusing to send taxpayer money to spread the CCP’s lies should be obvious to every member of Congress.
No Hollywood filmmaker, director or actor should be forced to bow to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) or apologize to the Chinese Communist Party. Yet my fellow Democrats voted against my amendment, leaving the CCP free to decide what content Americans consider.
For years, the PRC has been telling film studios what they can and cannot put in their films. Paramount Pictures recently deleted the Japanese and Taiwanese flags of a main character’s iconic bomber jacket to appease the CCP. In May, “Fast and Furious” actor John Cena apologized in Mandarin after referring to Taiwan as a country.
After replacing the Soviets with the Chinese army in their remake of “Red Dawn” in 2012, MGM was nervous about the reaction of the PRC and amended the opponent of films in North Korea instead. When Hollywood ignored the preferences of the CCP in the past, there were consequences. After starring in “Seven Years in Tibet”, Brad Pitt was banned from China for almost 20 years. No American citizen or film company should be muzzled by the CCP.
Communist officials in China have made a practice of planting their propaganda in corporate media in countries around the world, including the United States, all to support a false version of the history and policies of the CCP. The CCP also tried to to buy foreign journalists and reporters by making them work for Chinese state media organizations. Journalists who cannot be bought are target by CCP officials as soon as they enter China, often followed and intimidated by security officials.
The Chinese Communist Party is a master at using information warfare to shape people’s minds and thoughts and to protect their regime from scrutiny. They use lies and propaganda to hide their gross human rights violations from the international community.
The CCP has taken drastic measures to maintain security and stability by re-education camps for all those who do not conform to their will. CCP officials are not hiding these allegations, but to boast about them on social media. In January, the Chinese Embassy in the United States tweeted that the minds of Uighur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and that they were no longer machines for making babies. The CCPs are proud of their concentration camps, and the ethnic cleansing campaign shows how their values diverge from ours.
We must take seriously the power of the media to shape the way entire nations think and act. Based on their censorship campaign, it is evident that the CCP understands how the entertainment industry can be used to influence entire groups of people. If we continue to ignore this type of hybrid warfare, we will find ourselves at a serious disadvantage. It’s not just a matter of freedom of expression, it’s a matter of national security.
My question for my fellow Democrats is: Where do you draw the line on the CCP’s censorship? When our national security is threatened or when our most sacred values are attacked? If this is your line, then we are already there.
The goal of the CCP’s censorship is nothing less than an information war, designed to undermine our nation’s very sovereignty. We have already missed an opportunity to act; we can’t miss another one.
Congressman Mark Green is a medic and combat veteran in Afghanistan and Iraq. He interviewed Saddam Hussein for six hours the night he was captured. He sits on the House of Commons Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees.
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