The Des Moines Register admits that it published a four-page advertisement of the (mainland) Chinese government.
The Des Moines Register, in the follow up article, says:
"I think it's trying to maximize pressure on the administration to change its trade policies toward China by attempting to show White House and Republicans that they're going to pay a price with the mid-terms," said David Skidmore, a political science professor at Drake University.
Kirk Leeds, CEO of the Iowa Soybean Association, said he's not surprised that China would target Iowa as well as other key election states.
While the Register noted at the top of the page that the "China Watch" insert was a China Daily supplement, Skidmore said the newspaper should have made it clearer that the insert was paid advertising.
For those readers who understood the supplement was an advertisement, Skidmore said, the approach "could backfire."
Readers "may not appreciate trying to be manipulated by a foreign government," he said.
(The four page advertisement is also available through the above link)