Home International US ends China-funded exchange programs, calls them ' tools'

US ends China-funded exchange programs, calls them ‘propaganda tools’

The termination is the latest reflection of President Donald Trump's sharply antagonistic relationship with China

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The State Department said Friday was terminating five Chinese-funded exchange programs with , calling them propaganda tools for .

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that these programs, conducted under a US called the MECEA that permits American employees to travel using foreign funds, were “disguised as ‘cultural exchanges.'”

“While other programs funded under the auspices of the MECEA are mutually beneficial, the five programs in question are fully funded and operated by the PRC government as soft power propaganda tools,” Pompeo said, referring to the People’s Republic of .

“They provide carefully curated access to Chinese Communist Party officials, not to the Chinese people, who do not enjoy freedoms of speech and assembly.”

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The termination is the latest reflection of President Donald Trump’s sharply antagonistic relationship with China.

Under Trump, the US launched a trade with , has challenged ’s territorial ambitions in disputed Asian waters, criticized its on freedoms in and blamed China’s handling of the initial for the now engulfing the globe.

© Agence France-Presse

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