How much the “CCP pays me

I confess — I’m paid by the Communist Regime of China

All the time I’m asked how much I get paid by the CCP.

First of all, let’s get one thing straight; from a legal perspective I could be paid directly into my bank account by the propaganda arm of the Communist Party and I could legally answer no, I’m not because there’s no such thing as the CCP. Correctly, it’s called the CPC, the Communist Party of China and the answer is still no. Well, almost no.

It’s no one else’s business how I make my living but, since it seems to be a topic that so many people want to make their business, I decided to make this video and answer this question once and for all by explaining how I live my life and how I gain my income. And describing how much the Communist Party actually influences me

Recently a YouTube subscriber shared one of my videos and was asked by his friends how he knew I wasn’t fooling him with paid propaganda. He asked me and that was a fair question

Well, the simple answer is, if it’s “propaganda” in the sense that the word is being used then simply look at my articles and the research I do. Look at my experience of life in China and the travelling, studying and working I’ve done in the last 18 years. If you still want to believe it’s all propaganda because you haven’t looked into how I reach my conclusions and opinions, then you’re not informing yourself and you’re not being critical.

What I say about China is true and supported by evidence and when it isn’t proven or supported as being true, I express it as an opinion by using words to tell the readers and viewers that it is an opinion.

If you don’t like it, you have the choice: don’t watch it or read it.

If you think it’s wrong, you have the option to challenge me. If you can’t then the only thing you got left is to accuse me of being paid to say it, you’re making yourself look very small, like a schoolyard bully and, in my opinion, you’re quite entitled to do that, just don’t be surprised if it backfires on you with one of my sarcastic comments which are littered throughout the comment section.

I sometimes wish I did get paid because I live on a small pension here (I was a police officer for 10 years in the UK and they pay me a small amount each month). I was also lucky enough to be well-paid for the last 6 years of my working life so I saved some money, My wife and I worked hard and we own our own small apartment therefore we have no rent and there are no rates in China so living here is very cheap.

I have a minor source of income when I write an article that is sold to a news outlet. Very rarely I will be asked to write an article and sometimes this is a Chinese media outlet which some people seem to think is a “gotcha moment”. If you take a look at my medium.com page you’ll see I’ve written over 120 articles in two or three years and then search me online you’ll find about 25 of them have been published — several in one Australian publication one in a US publication but mostly in China.

The payment for them usually takes between 3 and 6 months to arrive and usually amounts to less than 500RMB. One, for which I was paid over 800 RMB which is about $115USD actually took 14 months to arrive and I’d forgotten all about it in August this year because I wrote and had an article published about Su Bing Tian the Olympic runner in June of last year. This proved two points: one is that I don’t always write political articles, the other is that no one could afford to rely on publishing media in China as a part time source of income.

Over the last two and a half years I’ve earnt about 12000 RMB from Chinese media which equates to approximately $180USD or about £1,450. Perhaps the best way to look at this is the media, which is not directly funded by the state but draws its income from a range of different sources, the same way the BBC, ABC and other state media operations do, pays me for my hours of research, writing and editing.

Since I started my writing in February 2020, I’ve earnt, on average less than 375 RMB, that’s $45 or £35 a month. They really do pay for my beer and nothing more!!!

It also is the only place in which I receive any money at all from anything that could remotely be called “the state” and so there you have it — that’s how much influence the Communist Party buys from me. Enough to buy me a beer once or twice a week!

I’ve recently started making videos using some of the articles I’ve written as the basis of a script. It’s going very well and my YouTube channel is building solidly, one day soon, I hope I can turn my hobby of writing into earning me some money. At the moment, that’s a future plan.

I do TV interviews from time to time and have never, not even once, been offered a payment for them. I was once told that interview attendees receive an attendance fee but all my interviews have been online, so I guess I don’t qualify for that, in any event, I’ve never been offered one, never asked for one and never received one.

About 2 months ago, I was invited onto a CGTN radio podcast and, for the first, and only time, I was offered a 300 RMB appearance fee, I asked the host, a North American in China, if he would donate the fee to a charity of my choice instead of paying me because I wish to remain honest in saying I’ve never been paid for an interview in China. That can be verified by asking the host of the Show, Jason Smith, on Twitter as @ShangguanJiewen.

Last month, for the first time ever, I was invited on a “social media influencers” tour of Guangdong. I had all expenses paid whilst on the trip but needed to make my own way to Shenzhen, a two hour drive, or 500rmb Didi ride as I don’t have a car, to join it and there was no payment. We spent at least 12 hours a day on the road, visited four different cities and three locations in each city, some of which were a five-hour drive from the previous destination. We ate some local foods I wouldn’t have otherwise tried and saw some great places I wouldn’t have otherwise have gone to. I wrote one article which was published in GDToday, one of the media outlets of the group which arranged the trip and I made one video which I placed on YouTube (where I still receive no monetisation).

I’ve also given many interviews to western media but again, they never pay either and usually end up insulting or disparaging me, or even worse, insinuating I’m being paid for doing in China what they just asked me to do for them for free.

There’s one other aspect about China that people who have critical thinking skills might say, ah, that makes sense. First of all, let’s agree because it’s in every media outlet in the world, that it’s true, so it must be true, right? The Chinese government have very strict laws. At least the people who keep accusing me of shilling for them believe they do.

In China because I’m 64 years old, it’s illegal for me to work here. I have a marriage visa and that makes it illegal for anyone to employ me, or pay me in RMB. Therefore, if the government were paying me, both they and I would be breaking their own law So, the logic is, I’m illegally getting money in an authoritarian state that willingly allows me to break the law so that they can knowingly break the law too when they reward me. Somehow, that doesn’t make much sense!

Believe me, Chinese government bodies do not break Central Government laws willingly or knowingly nor do they encourage or enable foreigners to do so.

One final point, the people who often allege this are often actually paid themselves for example several people in ASPI, funded by defence and military industrial complex organisations have made the allegation, Benedict Rogers employed by his own charity, HK Watch and receiving payments from sources such as the National Endowment for Democracy has made the allegation. To these people I have always said: if you think it’s true, please appoint an auditor of your choice, give me their details and I will open my bank accounts to them while I await your apology.

So, now you know — if you have any questions, as always, feel free to leave them in the comments below and I’ll always answer them.

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Jerry Grey

Jerry Grey

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I’m British born Australian living in Guangdong and have an MA in Cross Cultural Change Management. I write mostly positively about my China experiences