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GOP rep wants answers on China's Capitol Hill propaganda efforts

As China marks 70 years of oppressive communist party rule, one Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives want to know why a regime-owned publication is being delivered to his and his colleagues' offices.

In a letter sent on Monday, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., asked the chief administrative officer of the House of Representatives to help combat "the proliferation of Chinese-state propaganda in the United States' Congress" by addressing how a Chinese government-owned newspaper "finds its way to my office's doorstep each morning."

China Daily is an English-language newspaper started in 2009 and owned by the Chinese regime that is especially proud of its wide distribution in the halls of Congress. It's currently registered as a foreign agent under U.S. law. Recently, the paper drew criticism for its blatant pro-regime coverage of the protests in Hong Kong.

A day after sending the letter, Banks took to Twitter to offer an example of the pro-Chinese regime message that was delivered to his office that morning: "In this issue [China Daily] is featuring their coverage of a military parade where they advertised a nuclear missile capable of bypassing U.S. defense systems and reach the U.S. in 30 minutes."

Banks' letter says that while House and Senate postal operations services distribute multiple free newspapers to congressional offices, others get delivered by a private company, the National News Agency, which he says bypasses "normal Congressional media distribution procedures." One of those publications is China Daily.

"The National News Agency has no scruples disseminating falsehoods on behalf of an authoritarian dictatorship," Banks' letter alleges.

"I'm certain you are personally opposed to foreign agitprop like the China Daily," Banks wrote in the letter. "So, there must be a legal or administrative roadblock preventing the removal of state-supported propaganda from congressional circulation. ... Is there any legislative action I could take which would allow you to overcome this obstacle?"

Banks also sent copies of the letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr as well as NNA.

Banks then calls on the administrator to either "immediately stop the dissemination of foreign propaganda" or "mandate the the inclusion of a disclaimer on all state-owned newspapers delivered to congressional offices."

"There's a lot rhetoric in Congress about 'combatting Chinese influence' and being 'tough on China,'" Banks concludes. "Americans won't take our claims seriously if we can't prevent China from running a propaganda campaign in our own workplace."

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