PBS affiliates partnered with China-backed outlet to air pro-Beijing movie: report

Federally funded PBS affiliates are airing a pro-China documentary produced in conjunction with an outlet controlled by the Chinese Communist government, according to a new report.

The Daily Caller reported Friday that PBS affiliates are airing “Voices from the Frontline: China’s War on Poverty” without disclosing CGTN’s ties to Beijing and that its producer has links to Chinese officials and the government.

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According to the Caller, PBS SoCal helped produce the movie, which praises Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-poverty initiatives and premiered this week. Other affiliates will air it in the coming days.

“In the last forty years, China’s economic development has lifted more than 700 people out of poverty,” the intro of the movie reportedly says.

“To President Xi Jinping, ending poverty is his most important task,” the script states.

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It’s a report likely to fuel Republican calls for PBS to be defunded -- something that President Trump and many conservatives have backed over a perceived liberal bias.

It comes amid growing scrutiny over Chinese influence around the globe in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The virus originated in China, and Beijing has been accused of covering it up and silencing doctors instead of working from the start to prevent it from becoming a pandemic.

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Trump has paused funding to the World Health Organization over concerns about the control China has over that organization. Meanwhile, a number of Republicans have called for investigations and even sanctions on Beijing if it refuses to cooperate.