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China is now borrowing the phrase 'fake news' to wave off human rights advocates

Say what you like about President Trump, the man knows how to make a phrase stick. From "Crooked Hillary" to "Low-Energy Jeb" and "Lyin' Ted Cruz," Trump's talent as a wordsmith is well-established. His latest and greatest dismissal is "fake news," and now even China is using it to wave off human rights advocates, The New York Times reports.

Foreign news organizations have run stories in recent weeks about the torture of Chinese lawyer Xie Yang, based on transcripts and interviews with Xie's lawyers. The newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party has now taken to calling those reports "fake news":

Another state-run paper, Xinhua, wrote that the "stories" about Xie "were essentially fake news."

"Trump's attacks on the media will offer a good excuse for Chinese officials to step up their criticism of Western democracy and press freedom," journalism professor Qiao Mu told The New York Times. "China can turn to Trump's attacks to say Western democracy is hypocrisy."