Democratic Star Linked to Chinese Influence Operation

Democratic Star Linked to Chinese Influence Operation

( – The tension between the United States and China has been steadily increasing over the past few years. The US has sanctioned many Chinese companies and prevented some American entities from doing business with the Asian nation. In the midst of all that, one Democratic representative is allegedly awarding people connected to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

A Daily Caller New Foundation (DCNF) investigation reportedly found several ties between Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) and Chinese intelligence front groups. The news organization points to congressional awards Chu granted to 10 people. Notably, seven among them had connections to the China Overseas Friendship Association (COFA) or the China Overseas Exchange Association (COEA). These are two organizations that, according to Clive Hamilton, an author and expert on CCP operations, require its members to “carry out influence work overseas” in an effort to advance the party’s agenda.

Further digging revealed that both the COEA and COFA fall under the United Front Work Department (UFWD), which the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) identifies as a group that works to “expand China’s soft power

and further the CCP’s political agenda.” Adding more intrigue to the situation is that many of the recipients also seem to have donated to Chu’s campaign.

Some of the individuals purported to have ties to the CCP include Stephen Sham, who received a congressional award for his public service in recognition of being the first Chinese-American mayor of Alhambra, California. He is listed as belonging to the COEA. When DCNF dug a little deeper, it also found, through FEC donation disclosures, that Sham donated nearly $11,000 to Chu’s coffers between 2009 and 2016.

Another congressional award recipient the DCNF identified is Zhang Sujiu, who received recognition for her role in an art exhibition celebrating the CCP. She’s not only the daughter of Zhang Zhizhong, a CCP general, but she also served in an executive capacity for the COEA for 8 years and donated to Chu’s campaign.

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