US cuts five Chinese-funded exchange programs

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Donald Trump once again marks his mistrust of China. The US State Department announced Friday, December 5 that it was cutting five China-funded exchange programs with the United States, calling them “propaganda tools”.

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These five programs, conducted under a US law called MECEA which allows US government officials to travel using foreign government funds, were “disguised as ‘cultural exchanges’,” said in a statement. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

However, “while other programs founded under the auspices of MECEA are mutually beneficial, the five programs in question are completely funded and operated by the government of the People’s Republic of China as tools of propaganda and soft power. ”Said Mike Pompeo.

The strained relationship between the United States and China

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“They provide carefully designed access to officials of the Chinese Communist Party, and not to the Chinese people, who do not enjoy freedoms of speech and assembly,” added the secretary of state. The elimination of these programs is the latest expression of President Donald Trump’s highly divisive relationship with China.

Under Donald Trump’s leadership, the United States launched a trade war with China, thwarted its territorial ambitions in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, criticized Beijing’s crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, and condemned China’s initial handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which began in Wuhan at the end of 2019 and has since spread to the entire planet.

In addition, the United States and the Chinese group ByteDance did not reach an agreement on the sale of the American assets of the TikTok application within the deadline imposed by the administration of Donald Trump, which ended Friday at midnight but Discussions are continuing and users of the popular lightweight video app should be able to continue using the social network on US soil on Saturday.

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