The American media has been facing "understandable intimidation" from the autocratic Chinese government, according to Hudson Institute Director of Chinese Strategy Michael Pillsbury.
"Life, Liberty & Levin" host Mark Levin told Pillsbury that he found it shocking to see some in the press apprently reverse themselves on the rightfulness of describing coronavirus as "the Wuhan Virus."
"[They] are now lecturing us, 'Don't call it that,' so China has these victories in these propaganda campaigns," Levin said. "And the point of the propaganda is what, to tear down America and to sustain the communist regime in China?"
"Yes," Pillsbury answered. "Their basic theory is that America's in decline and has been for 20 or 30 years [and that] China's on the rise ... They've also got another theme -- that China is a better world leader than America."
Pillsbury pointed to China's recent expulsion of three reporters from The Wall Street Journal, adding that the media is very concerned about having access to the country.
"We're taking counter-actions to it," he said. "Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo has done some very excellent things to declare Chinese media outlets here part of the Chinese government that have to register before they go see anybody, because that's how their media functions."
"But our media has an understandable intimidation by the Chinese," Pillsbury continued. "[They] won't let people who speak ill of China come into China to work."
He said the media to some extent still views China as an American "friend" -- but their aversion to President Trump presents an interesting case.
"When they see him successfully working with China on the trade deal and on other matters, they sort of position themselves as 'Well, we're more friendly with China than President Trump is'," he said.
"It's a vicious game that's going to end up with our public becoming confused about the nature of China, and beginning to accept the argument that we [as a country] are in decline, our time as Number One is finished and China is on the rise."