China’s propaganda machine has taken aim at American soybean farmers as part of its high-stakes trade war with the Trump administration.
The publication last month of a four-page advertising section in the Des Moines Register opened a new battle line in China‘s effort to break the administration’s resolve. U.S. farmers are a key political constituency for Trump, and Beijing has imposed tariffs on American soybeans as retaliation for Trump’s tariffs on hundreds of billions in Chinese imports.
China regularly disseminates propaganda in the West through its China Daily newspaper to try to influence public opinion in the United States and elsewhere. But the advertorial in the Register was unusual for deploying not a national publication in New York or Washington but a newspaper in the farm state of Iowa.