US claims China bribes UN news outlet for positive stories

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, July 8: United States has raised suspicion over China’s alleged involvement in bribing a news outlet focused on United Nations to push positive stories about China.

Chinese officials were involved in developing South-South News, a New York-based English language media outfit focused on the U.N. and development issues, according to court papers filed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, reports July 7.

Prosecutors have claimed Macau billionaire real estate developer Ng Lap Seng, the founder of South-South News has funneled a portion of $500,000 in bribes he paid to former U.N. General Assembly President John Ashe, the report adds.

13646730_1203636076347467_396454305_oWednesday’s filing described a 2010 email from an unnamed individual affiliated with China’s State Council Information Office, China’s propaganda arm, to a business associate of Ng’s with a draft letter for the billionaire to sign.

The letter, written to Ng reportedly addresses him as the Chairman of South-South News and reveals he belonged to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a government advisory board, and further said South-South News could be used “to display China’s soft power, counter malicious, distorted news by anti-China forces, and let the whole world hear a true voice that comes from China to understand the real China.”

Macau real estate developer was accused of bribing former United Nations General Assembly president John Ashe who was arrested and charged along with five others in a criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors in the US for taking $1.3 million in bribes from Chinese businessmen including Ng.

In their statement, South-South News denied having any connections with the Chinese government and said it had no knowledge of the issues prosecutors detailed.

Because of the case, the United Nations is now reviewing South-South News’ accreditation, further investigations are on.



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