Ted Cruz accuses CNN of ‘pushing CCP propaganda’ in editor’s note of op-ed bashing China’s genocide of Uyghurs

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took aim at CNN over an editor’s note it included in an opinion piece attacking China’s genocidal treatment of Uyghur Muslims. 

As part of its “Voices of Freedom” series, CNN published an op-ed written by Hudson Institute senior fellow Nury Turkel, who began his piece by telling readers he was born in a “Chinese reeducation camp” and went into detail about the brutal conditions he and his mother lived under in his early childhood.

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“Now, some half a century later, China is targeting the Uyghur population with a new fervor. According to the U.S, Department of Defense, China has detained possibly as many as 3 million Uyghurs in detention camps” Turkel wrote before citing reports of the sterilization of Uyghur women and the destruction of Uyghur cemeteries. “Having experienced the reality of living under this regime, and now watching with horror as these atrocities are visited on my Uyghur brothers and sisters, it’s difficult for me to comprehend how any Western actor could push for greater dialogue or engagement with such a regime.”

A security person watches from a guard tower around a detention facility in Yarkent County in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on March 21, 2021. Four years after Beijing's brutal crackdown on largely Muslim minorities native to Xinjiang, Chinese authorities are dialing back the region's high-tech police state and stepping up tourism. But even as a sense of normality returns, fear remains, hidden but pervasive.

A security person watches from a guard tower around a detention facility in Yarkent County in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on March 21, 2021. Four years after Beijing’s brutal crackdown on largely Muslim minorities native to Xinjiang, Chinese authorities are dialing back the region’s high-tech police state and stepping up tourism. But even as a sense of normality returns, fear remains, hidden but pervasive.
(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Following the lengthy article of Turkel urging more international pressure to be placed on China, an editor’s note appeared to offer a Chinese rebuttal. 

“The Chinese government has repeatedly denied any allegations of crimes — including forced labor and forced sterilization — against the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples,” the note read. “It claims it is providing the Uyghurs with education at ‘vocational training centers’ while assisting in deradicalization efforts to combat alleged terrorism.”

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Cruz slammed the editor’s note on Twitter, suggesting CNN does more to curry favor with China than Republicans. 

“CNN editors, who have 0 hesitation about publishing trash allegations against anyone they perceive as not leftwing enough, took an article by a Uyghur-American advocate exposing China’s ongoing genocide & added an ‘Editor’s Note’ pushing CCP propaganda,” Cruz tweeted. 

CNN did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Critics have long slammed CNN for promoting Chinese propaganda. In June, the liberal news outlet published a report that boasted China’s coronavirus vaccination rates … according to data provided by China. 

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A CNN reporter was accused of pushing China propaganda over a tweet linking the pro-Trump mob that stormed Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 to Hong Kong protesters acting in defiance of the Chinese Communist Party regime. 

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) addresses a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2021. Picture taken October 6, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) addresses a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2021. Picture taken October 6, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo
(Reuters)

In April 2020, in the early months of the pandemic, CNN ran an article about China People’s Liberation Army (PLA) supposedly having a foothold in the spread of the coronavirus in a branch of its military, running the headline, “China’s PLA Navy is controlling coronavirus and aircraft carrier’s deployment proves it, report says.”

However, that report came from the Chinese state-run tabloid Global Times.

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Following the intense backlash, CNN updated the piece with a new headline, “Chinese state media claims country’s navy is not affected by coronavirus.”

In addition, the article included this editor’s note: “This story has been updated to include Pentagon reaction and recent developments in the Western Pacific.”

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