Jeremy Hunt’s wife presents show on China's state-run TV ‘that whitewashes Communist Party's human r

By JAKE RYAN and LUKE MCWILLIAMS FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

PUBLISHED: 22:05 GMT, 25 December 2021


The wife of former Cabinet Minister Jeremy Hunt presents a TV show for China’s state-run media that has been accused of ‘whitewashing’ the Communist Party’s human rights abuses.


Lucia Guo, who has three children with the former Health Secretary and Foreign Secretary, appears on China Hour, a series broadcast on Sky TV that showcases Chinese culture to a UK audience.


It is made by the state-owned China International TV Corporation and British-based Dove Media, in partnership with the Communist regime’s tourist office in London.


The programme has featured reports on the effectiveness of China’s pandemic response and about the beauty of the Xinjiang region without mentioning it is the site of ‘re-education’ camps for its persecuted Muslim Uighur population.


Ms Guo, who is originally from the city of Xi’an in central China, hosts a feature on the show called Signature Flowers of China.


It has been broadcast since September and is also available on YouTube.

Lucia Guo, the wife of former Cabinet Minister Jeremy Hunt, presents a TV show for China’s state-run media that has been accused of ‘whitewashing’ the Communist Party’s human rights abuses

Ms Guo, who is originally from the city of Xi’an in central China, hosts a feature on China Hour called Signature Flowers of China


Human rights campaigners at the US research institute Freedom House last year accused China Hour of being part of the Chinese Communist Party’s international media web.


The programme has been praised in Beijing for its viewing figures while its reports on the pandemic have been credited with ‘playing a unique role in communicating the Chinese narration of the epidemic to the world’.


But Sarah Cook, senior research analyst at Freedom House, said shows like China Hour were used to help Beijing whitewash the regime’s abuses.


‘It’s about embedding content from Chinese state media or made in collaboration with Chinese state media that local audiences are already watching,’ she said.


‘And that’s what’s very insidious about it. Yes, some of it is innocuous, but effectively it’s whitewashing a horrifically authoritarian and brutal regime.’

The programme has featured reports on the effectiveness of China’s pandemic response and about the beauty of the Xinjiang region without mentioning it is the site of ‘re-education’ camps for its persecuted Muslim Uighur population. Pictured: A housing compound in Yangisar, China


Pictured: A re-education camp in China's western Xianjing region in June 2019


Five years ago, when Health Secretary, Mr Hunt led a delegation to China. The visit resulted in a deal that included a UK-China media production treaty and the launch of China Hour on Sky Channel 191.


Mr Hunt, now chair of the health and social care select committee, stood against Boris Johnson in the 2019 race for Tory leader, and is tipped to be a contender should the Prime Minister be challenged again.


He met Ms Guo in 2008 when she was recruiting Chinese students for Warwick University.

Mr Hunt, now chair of the health and social care select committee, met Ms Guo in 2008 when she was recruiting Chinese students for Warwick University


In a statement, the makers of China Hour said the programme was a ‘commercial operation aimed at increasing programme sales for the China International TV Corporation and generating advertising revenue for both parties’.


They added that its editors have ‘decades of experience’ in reporting ‘national and international news in a balanced and impartial way’ but that, in any event, the programme ‘does not have a news remit and we stick to lifestyle programmes’.


Dove Media Group is part of the Global Chinese Media Co-operation Forum.


Mr Hunt and Ms Guo declined to comment.



Source: dailymail.co.uk