Representative Banks has compared the tensions between China and the United States to the tensions that existed during the Cold War.
Lawmakers are calling on the Justice Department to launch a "full-fledged investigation" into China Daily after the Washington Free Beacon found that the propaganda outlet ignored federal law.
China Daily has spent millions to publish state-sanctioned propaganda in top American newspapers without complying with disclosure requirements for foreign agents, prompting Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.), Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), and 33 other members of Congress to demand a probe into the outlet's activities. On Thursday, the group sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr asking that the Justice Department "promptly review and produce a report on China Daily’s compliance" with federal disclosure laws.
"Propaganda that seeks to obfuscate communist atrocities deserves to be counteracted," the letter says. "[The Foreign Agents Registration Act] already arms the federal government with tools to fight pernicious foreign influence. The DOJ should use them to clamp down on Chinese propaganda."
The Free Beacon previously found that China Daily ran hundreds of propaganda articles designed to resemble authentic news reports in the pages of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. The propaganda outlet, which serves as the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, failed to report these ad purchases to the U.S. government for more than 30 years.