Now a candidate for U.S. Senate, then-Missouri Governor Eric Greitens took a trip to Asia in the fall of 2017 that included engagements with leaders of Chinese Communist Party-controlled entities and an appearance on a Chinese state television network.
The September 2017 trip to Asia was funded by the Hawthorn Institute to allow Greitens to "meet with government officials, business executives, and civic and educational partners in Beijing, Shanghai, and Seoul," according to The Associated Press.
Billed as Greitens' first foreign trade mission as governor to secure agreements between Missouri farmers and industry and China's communist government, the trip contained more than a tinge of CCP propaganda.
In a more than 15-minute interview on the China Global Television Network — which is controlled by the Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party — Greitens and his then-wife Sheena heaped praise on China and the accomplishments of the CCP while chyrons stating "Concerns over US protectionism," "Chinese investment in US facing obstacles," and "Concerns over US unpredictability" flashed on screen.
"My first foreign country I ever traveled to was China and the first foreign city I ever set foot in was Beijing and it’s amazing to see the transformation that’s taken place here over the past 24 years," Governor Greitens said on the show "World Insight."
"That was a summer of tremendous excitement in Beijing and a great time to be a student here because you really got to see the transformation in China, and the sort of you know internationalization in some ways of Beijing," recalled then-First Lady of Missouri Sheena Greitens of her time studying in China during the 2008 olympics as the chyron on screen characterized the Greitens as "long time acquaintances of Chinese people."
"That is the foundation of the higher level relationships and we’ve seen that with President Xi Jinping’s relationship with the American midwest and Iowa," Mrs. Greitens added before promising that she and the governor "plan to be here on a regular basis" to continue "building those ties in a very consistent and predictable way that will benefit the people of Missouri, jobs in Missouri and also be beneficial to the people we are interacting with and our counterparts in China."
Governor Greitens highlighted "the tremendous agricultural transformation that's also happening in China" that he said created "wonderful opportunities to build mutually beneficial, win-win, prosperous relationships for both countries."
The CGTN host praised Governor Greitens for being "very firm in exercising the necessary measures" to maintain control amid the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri, while footage of police responding to the unrest played on-screen. "That's going to be very controversial from certain perspectives," the host added.
Greitens sat by, smiling, as the CCP-employed propagandist said that "the rest of the world is watching the United States as people see unpredictability" in our trade relationships and repeated Chinese criticism of American "protectionism actions" that prevented China from acquiring a chip-maker in the United States.
"This is how time flies when friends are talking to one another," said the CCP state TV anchor while wrapping up the interview.
In addition to the appearance on state television, Governor Greitens met with multiple government officials and business executives, including Chen Siqing who was then-chairman of the Bank of China, a CCP state-owned entity. Photos obtained by Townhall show Governor and Mrs. Greitens smiling with Siqing under what appears to be a photo of Chairman Mao while exchanging gifts.
SCOOP: Townhall obtained photos showing then-governor Eric Greitens meeting with the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party-owned Bank of China on a 2017 trip that included an appearance by the U.S. Senate hopeful on CCP propaganda TV. #MoSen pic.twitter.com/jcfDWwmBXU— Spencer Brown (@itsSpencerBrown) September 17, 2021
Now running to represent the people of Missouri in the United States Senate, Greitens' campaign website does not outline his agenda or attitude toward China. A review of tweets from Greitens' verified account mentions China just a handful of times. Nowhere, however, does Greitens talk of the Chinese Communist Party's genocide against the Uyghurs, practice of using forced labor, or shady trade practices and theft of American intellectual property.
Eric Greitens' campaign did not respond by deadline to a request for comment.