The U.S. is ending exchanges with China, calling them “propaganda.”

A woman aligns the Chinese flag near the American flags.

Ng Han Guan | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. State Department announced Friday that it has completed five cultural exchange programs with China, calling them “soft power propaganda tools.”

The ministry said on its website that it had “terminated” the China Travel Education Program for Policy Makers, the US-China Friendship Program, the US-China Leadership Exchange Program, the US-China Transpacific Exchange Program, and the Hong Kong Education and Culture Program.

He said the programs were created under the auspices of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act – a 1961 law signed by President John F. Kennedy aimed at boosting scientific and cultural exchanges with foreign countries.

“While other programs funded under the auspices of MECEA are mutually beneficial, the five programs in question are fully funded and operated by the (Chinese) government as a soft power propaganda tool,” the statement said.

The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately send a message asking for an opinion on the move. Attempts to reach representatives of programs highlighted by the State Department were not immediately successful.