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Thread: Is China developing a beachhead inside the borders of America?

  1. #61
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    The Chinese Are Acquiring Large Chunks Of Land In Communities All Over America

    March 31, 2014

    Has the United States ever experienced a time when a foreign nation has attempted to buy up so much of our land all at once? As you will read about in this article, the Chinese are on a real estate buying spree all over America. In fact, in some cases large chunks of land are actually being given to them. Yes, you read that correctly. China is on the way to becoming the dominant land owner in the entire country, and that is starting to alarm a lot of people. Do we really want a foreign superpower to physically own so much of our territory?

    There are some that are playing down this threat by making a distinction between the Chinese government and Chinese corporations, but things work differently over in China than they do here. In China, the government is involved in everything. In fact, 43 percent of all corporate profits in China are produced by companies that the Chinese government controls. And all of the rest of the companies are very careful to follow the lead and direction of the Chinese government.

    That is why what is going on in places such as Thomasville, Alabama is so alarming. Small communities such as Thomasville are so starved for jobs that they are willing to give land away for free to Chinese companies in order to entice them to build factories…

    Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday that he will announce an economic development project in Thomasville, Ala., Monday morning.

    That project is likely a copper tube plant to be built by Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group. A legal notice published Thursday indicates that the city of Thomasville and others intend to give land and other incentives to GD Copper USA, which state corporation records identify as a Florida-based subsidiary of Golden Dragon.

    And in this particular case, we are not just talking about a small plot of land. We are talking about a 40 acre chunk of land worth 1.5 million dollars…

    The legal notice indicated the city plans to give Golden Dragon a 40-acre site. Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day has said that land is in a city industrial park south of Thomasville High School. It includes a $1.5 million, 50,000-square-foot building that the city constructed in 2009 to attract businesses.

    But in most cases, the Chinese actually have to spend money to acquire our real estate. And they are starting to make some really high profile acquisitions in some of our most expensive cities…

    China Vanke and Tishman Speyer signed a deal for a $620 million luxury condo project in San Francisco this winter. In April, another deal for a cool $1.5 billion was inked in Oakland between Zarsion and Signature Development Group.

    In June, several big deals in New York City went down. Zhang Xin, CEO of Soho China , joined forces with the wealthy Safra family (of Banco Safra fame) of Brazil to buy a stake in the General Motors Building in Midtown, The New York Times reported on June 25. Dalian Wanda Group, another Chinese developer, is planning to build a greenfield luxury hotel in Manhattan.

    In other cases, the Chinese are gaining control over vast tracts of U.S. territory by buying up our large corporations.

    For example, when the Chinese purchased Smithfield Foods, they suddenly owned 460 large farms and became the top employer in dozens of communities all over the United States…

    Smithfield Foods is the largest pork producer and processor in the world. It has facilities in 26 U.S. states and it employs tens of thousands of Americans. It directly owns 460 farms and has contracts with approximately 2,100 others. But now a Chinese company has bought it for $4.7 billion, and that means that the Chinese will now be the most important employer in dozens of rural communities all over America.
    And the Chinese seem to have a particular interest in economically-depressed areas of the country. Perhaps they feel that now is the time to gobble up companies and properties in such areas for bargain-basement prices. For instance, the following is from a CNBC article that detailed how the Chinese are aggressively “putting down roots in Detroit”…

    Dozens of companies from China are putting down roots in Detroit, part of the country’s steady push into the American auto industry.

    Chinese-owned companies are investing in American businesses and new vehicle technology, selling everything from seat belts to shock absorbers in retail stores, and hiring experienced engineers and designers in an effort to soak up the talent and expertise of domestic automakers and their suppliers.

    Speaking of Michigan, one company known as “Sino-Michigan Properties LLC” actually had plans to buy up 200 acres of land near the town of Milan, Michigan. The goal was to build an entire “China City” with artificial lakes, a Chinese cultural center and hundreds of housing units for Chinese citizens.

    But that is nothing compared to the “China City” that was being planned for New York state. The following is a short excerpt from one of my previous articles

    The Chinese have made trillions of dollars flooding our shores with super cheap products, and now they are using some of that money to buy land and property all over America. For example, there is now a proposal to construct a multibillion dollar “China City” that would span approximately 600 acres in a remote area of New York state. This “China City” (that is actually what it would be called) would be located on Yankee Lake in Sullivan County, New York. The plans anticipate large numbers of Chinese businesses, plenty of homes for Chinese immigrants, a Chinese high school, a college, a casino and even a theme park. And the first 600 acres is only for “phase one” of the plan. Ultimately, the goal is for “China City” to cover more than 2,000 acres. Those promoting this plan say that it will be a great way for New Yorkers to learn to appreciate Chinese culture.

    But of much greater concern is the huge wave of real estate purchases that are quietly happening all around us every single day.

    The following is from a recent CNBC article entitled “Chinese buying up California housing“…

    At a brand new housing development in Irvine, Calif., some of America’s largest home builders are back at work after a crippling housing crash. Lennar, Pulte, K Hovnanian, Ryland to name a few. It’s a rebirth for U.S. construction, but the customers are largely Chinese.

    “They see the market here still has room for appreciation,” said Irvine-area real estate agent Kinney Yong, of RE/MAX Premier Realty. “What’s driving them over here is that they have this cash, and they want to park it somewhere or invest somewhere.”

    So what happens when we get to the point when the Chinese government and/or Chinese citizens own 10 percent of all the real estate in the entire country?

    Will it be a problem then?

    What about if we get to 20 percent or 30 percent?

    At what point will we be forced to admit that we have a major problem on our hands?

    Many of our leaders seem resigned to the fact that the future will be dominated by communist China.

    For example, the President of the St. Louis Federal Reserve recently stated that “attitudes in the U.S. are going to have to change” because America “will not permanently be the global leader”

    That’s according to Federal Reserve Board of St. Louis President James Bullard, who spoke to the Wall Street Journal on the sidelines of a conference during a recent visit to Hong Kong.

    Attitudes in the U.S. are going to have to change, because the U.S. will not permanently be the global leader,” Mr. Bullard said.
    In fact, Bullard insists that it is inevitable that the U.S. will end up playing second fiddle to communist China…

    In that case, “the U.S. would be playing a role to China similar to the role the U.K. plays to the U.S. today,” Mr. Bullard said. “People think it’s 50-75 years away but it’s probably only 25 or 20 years away, something like that.”

    And this is one of the guys that is running the U.S. economy?

    There is more than one way to dominate your enemy, and the Chinese understand this.

    Sadly, most Americans have absolutely no idea what is happening.

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    Again, I sigh. I am less bothered by Real Estate purchases as these go back into the country economy and if war broke out, these notes may be worthless as possession is 9/10th of the law, in a loose sense. Nay. I am bothered any in a leadership role would resign themselves to being a second best country. To compare the UK role to the US as a future US to China role is incorrect as well. The UK had expanded the world! They were the largest single empire in the world! The US has our states and a several small protectorates, unless I am missing something, as is not an empire. Granted, the President of the St. Louis Federal Reserve may be correct, but it has been bad policy for decades that brought us to even consider the persons statement. What will be the outcome? I do not feel warm and fuzzy about it.

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    Record number of real estate purchases go to foreign buyers: Canadians target Las Vegas, Detroit Los Angeles, and Florida in General. Chinese targeting Los Angeles, San Francisco, Irvine, Las Vegas, Detroit, and Florida as well.

    Investor buying continues to be a major player in the current housing market. Over the last two weeks I’ve had the chance to drive down neighborhoods were international money is flooding in. It does give off reminders of when Japanese buyers were purchasing tons of California and Hawaiian real estate. When it comes to California, there are certain cities where international money is pouring in. This matters when sales margins are razor thin. What struck me about these areas is the marketing is heavily geared towards international buying. After all, when escrow closes there is no loyalty where the cash is coming from. California continues to draw heavy investor money from China alongside their massive boom over the last decade. Apparently buying tons of consumer goods eventually will have a bigger impact and we are simply seeing money repatriating back to other places. While the US is seeing some signs of housing mania, we are nothing compared to the nutty Canadian housing market and what is occurring in some major Chinese cities. Yet a big part of this is speculation and we actually see this via rents. Rentals are more reflective of what local families can pay. It is interesting to see in some highly desirable areas that rents go for $2,500 to $2,700 while homes are selling for $700,000 to $750,000. Foreign money is a big player in the current market and this is also very dependent on foreign economies sustaining their booms.

    Chinese investors heavily favor coastal regions

    The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released data on foreign real estate buyers. What was interesting is that the latest figures show that international buying is at an all-time record high coming in at $92.2 billion dollars of volume. Overall this was 7 percent of the $1.2 trillion in transactions but keep in mind this is highly targeted action. Not much buying in Nebraska, Kansas, Alabama, Kentucky, North Dakota, etc. This is a big deal when it comes to purchasing in a market with low inventory. What I find fascinating is that in these prime areas is that even local area families simply cannot afford to purchase their own home should they compete in today’s market and buy again. These are your lottery holding Fancy Feast eating baby boomers in most cases. In one prime area, you have a home selling for $700,000 and all similar homes around this property sold for $250,000, $300,000, or $150,000 yet there are very few homes for sale in this area. This is similar for other markets where crap shacks are going for $700,000 or more.

    In other words, not only are locals being priced out but even professionals in the area are being priced out because of added international competition. Take a look at sales volume:

    Source: NAR

    This is definitely impacting certain markets:

    “(LA Times) That’s driving prices in parts of the region that have long been popular with Chinese buyers. Home values have returned to pre-recession levels in parts of the San Gabriel Valley, for instance. And in Irvine, home to a booming population of young Asian families, new residences are getting scooped up by Chinese buyers.”
    Volume of purchases is still largely driven by Canadians but they are looking at other areas outside of California. Take a look at NAR searches for perspective:
    - Canadian Searches: Las Vegas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Chicago, Naples.
    - Chinese Searches: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Irvine, New York, Las Vegas, Detroit, Seattle, Miami, Orlando, Boston Anderson SC, Chicago,

    Houston, San Diego
    And the boom in China is definitely impacting local markets here in SoCal:

    Can you spot which country is booming? And where are Chinese buyers focused? Now as we had mentioned, volume is actually falling in many parts of California and prices are plateauing. You’ll notice that for these investors they are first targeting tier-one areas. I love how some people then try to justify this and say that a certain run-down market is going to experience a new renaissance because all of a sudden they have a Starbucks and a Chipotle. Some crappy stucco box sub-division in L.A. County is not the next Vancouver or La Jolla although people want to push this narrative forward. The figures don’t show this. Look at the top city searches. These are prime locations and places for true low cost investing (i.e., Las Vegas and Detroit). Investors are not looking to flush money down the toilet in a blanket nonsense strategy. If that were the case, inventory would not be rising and prices would be on a more furious path upwards. Yet that is not happening.

    Canadians appear to be driving their purchases via avoiding the cold. These snowbirds are looking for cheaper digs to escape the brutal cold months in Canada. With Canadian real estate in an epic bubble, hot money is flowing everywhere and especially to neighbors in the south. While the US did see a correction in housing values, Canada never underwent any sort of correction.

    The point of this is that foreign money is speculating in certain markets in California. If you are buying in the Inland Empire or Central Valley, you probably won’t face much competition from foreign money. But if you are looking at buying in San Marino, Arcadia, or Irvine get ready to face some international competition. In the end however, most locals don’t even have the income to compete even with a 20 percent down payment in some of these markets. For the housing industry, all money is green so as long as your cash or check clears, it is all good.

    This idea that foreign money is flooding into crappy neighborhoods and somehow, this is going to make them the next San Francisco is comical. There is no proof of this. What we do have is the data above and it shows that foreign investors just like Wall Street investors are hungry in turning a profit. They are not interested in being the greater fool holding the bag at the end.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
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    Chinese Company To Buy Texas Oil Fields In $1.3 Billion Deal

    October 26, 2015

    A Chinese investment firm is shelling out $1.3 billion to buy giant oil fields in Texas, reflecting growing interest from China in U.S. energy resources.

    Yantai Xinchao will acquire oil assets in the western Texas Permian Basin that are currently owned by Tall City Exploration and Plymouth Petroleum. The deal is part of a larger transaction between Yantai Xinchao and a second Chinese firm, according to a stock exchange filing on Saturday.

    The purchase, which includes oil fields in the state's Howard and Borden counties, has already been approved by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment, the filing said.

    Many smaller Chinese oil and gas companies are looking for deals abroad as a way to combat tough competition from giant state-owned energy firms, and tight government regulations back home.

    China's largest state-owned oil and gas firms, meanwhile, are snapping up resources in countries including Mozambique and Kazakhstan.

    The Permian Basin, one of the oldest oil fields in the U.S., has enjoyed a revival as shale gas exploration and other drilling technology has improved.

    Yantai Xinchao shares were suspended from trading last Friday to allow for the asset restructuring and oil field purchase. The company expects shares to be halted for about one month, and plans to release periodic updates on the restructuring, according to another stock exchange filing.

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    China Is Buying Up American Companies Fast, And It's Freaking People Out

    February 21, 2016

    Here's a story you'll be hearing about a lot this year.

    Chinese companies have been buying up foreign businesses, including American ones, at a record rate, and it's freaking lawmakers out.

    There is General Electric's sale of its appliance business to Qingdao-based Haier, Zoomlion's bid for the heavy-lifting-equipment maker Terex Corp., and ChemChina's record-breaking deal for the Swiss seeds and pesticides group Syngenta, valued at $48 billion.

    Most recently, a unit of the Chinese conglomerate HNA Group said it would buy the technology distributor Ingram Micro for $6 billion.

    And the most contentious deal so far might be the Chinese-led investor group Chongqing Casin Enterprise's bid for the Chicago Stock Exchange.

    A Deal Spree

    To date, there have been 102 Chinese outbound mergers-and-acquisitions deals announced this year, amounting to $81.6 billion in value, according to Dealogic. That's up from 72 deals worth $11 billion in the same period last year.

    And they're not expected to let up anytime soon. Slow economic growth in China and cheap prices abroad due to the stock market's recent sell-off suggest the opposite.

    "With the slowdown of the economy, Chinese corporates are increasingly looking to inorganic avenues to supplement their growth," Vikas Seth, head of emerging markets in the investment-banking and capital-markets department at Credit Suisse, told Business Insider earlier this month.

    China's economic growth in 2015 was its slowest in 25 years.

    The law firm O'Melveny & Myers recently surveyed their mainly China-based clients and found that the economic growth potential in the US was the main factor making it an attractive investment destination.

    Nearly half of respondents agreed that the US was the most attractive market for investment, but 47% felt that US laws and regulations were a major barrier. They'd be right about that.

    A Major Barrier

    Forty-five members of Congress this week signed a letter to the Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, or CFIUS, urging it to conduct a "full and rigorous investigation" of the Chicago Stock Exchange acquisition.

    "This proposed acquisition would be the first time a Chinese-owned, possibly state-influenced, firm maintained direct access into the $22 trillion US equity marketplace," the letter reads.

    "While it is unclear the level of influence the state holds over CCEG, the firm is involved in a number of important Chinese sectors that would likely require close ties to the state."

    CFIUS is meant to vet deals for any national-security issues. It recently prevented the $3.3 billion sale of Philips' lighting business to a group of buyers in Asia, but its reasons for blocking that deal weren't disclosed.

    "I would be very surprised if CFIUS did not have an interest in taking a look at this deal," said Anne Salladin of law firm Stroock & Stroock, referring to the Chicago Stock Exchange deal.

    Also this week, California-based Fairchild Semiconductor refused an offer from the state-backed China Resources and Hua Capital, the Financial Times reported.

    They bid $2.6 billion for the company, but Fairchild turned it down, citing concerns about US regulators, and accepted a lower bid from a US-based rival.

    While not all the companies doing the buying are state-owned enterprises, they do need to have the full backing of the Chinese government in order to close foreign deals. That's because they need approval to get enough foreign exchange to pay for the acquisitions, something the government monitors closely.

    Given the recent volume of deals, though, it would appear that the Chinese government is supportive of the foreign-buying spree. That may be exactly what has folks so worried.

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    Pompeo Warns Governors Of Chinese Infiltration Into US: 'It's Happening In Your State'

    February 8, 2020

    China's Communist Party has infiltrated various levels of America's infrastructure and is working to destroy the values of the United States, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a speech Saturday, while also warning state governors to be wary of China's infiltration.

    “We can’t ignore China’s actions and strategic intentions," he said while addressing the National Governors Association winter meeting. "The Chinese government has been methodical in the way it's analyzed our system... it's assessed our vulnerabilities and it's decided to exploit our freedoms, to gain an advantage over us at the federal level, the state level and the local level."

    “Competition with China is happening. It’s happening in your state," Pompeo added. "In fact, I'd be surprised if most of you in the audience had not been lobbied by the Chinese Communist Party directly."

    He said groups loyal to communist China are operating out in the open in Virginia, Minnesota, Florida and dozens of other states all around the country. Other Chinese groups, however, practice their nefarious actions in the shadows in an attempt to exercise influence over U.S. citizens and lawmakers.

    Pompeo cited a letter from a diplomat at the Chinese Consul in New York to the speaker of an unnamed state legislature, advising that U.S. officials refrain from independent interaction with Taiwan.

    “You add a diplomat from China, assigned here to the United States, a representative of the Chinese Communist Party, in New York City, sending a letter urging that an American elected official shouldn’t exercise his right to freedom of speech," he explained.

    The secretary said this isn't an uncommon event and that Chinese officials based in the U.S. are actively seeking to sow seeds of chaos at the state and local level -- specifically in the realm of education on college campuses and K-12 classrooms.

    “Maybe some of you have heard about the time when the Chinese consulate paid the UC San Diego students to protest the Dalai Lama," he continued. “It shows depth. It shows systemization. It shows intent.”

    He added: “Chinese Communist party officials, too, are cultivating relationships with county school boards and local politicians -- Often through what are known as 'Sister City Programs' ... This competition is well underway."

    Pompeo also spoke about China's campaign to recruit U.S. scientists and academics to share vital secrets, in exchange for monetary gain through their "Thousand Talents Plan," a campaign that has already targeted scientists and professors on campuses such as Virginia Tech and Harvard and triggered investigations by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

    He also explained how Beijing pressures Chinese students in the U.S. to keep an eye on their fellow countrymen and report back to the government about their activities.

    "China’s propaganda starts even earlier than college. China has targeted K-12 schools around the world," he said. "Do you know that we have no ability to establish similar programs in China? We should have reciprocity in all things. Today they have free reign in our system and we're completely shut out from theirs... Beijing knows that today’s kids are tomorrow’s leaders."

    Pompeo then warned state governors about doing business with China and said it is common to indirectly finance communism without realizing it. He then extended the hand of the federal government and said the Trump administration is standing by, ready to help states with this growing problem.

    “I want to urge vigilance on the local level too," he said. "It’s worth trusting but verifying. There are federal officials prepared to help you work your way through these challenges when they arise. Don’t make separate individual deals that undermine our national policy. I know none of you would do so intentionally. Let us help you."

    “I hope you will all take on board what I've said today," Pompeo added. "Don’t lose sight of the competition from China that's already present in your state. Let's all rise to the occasion and protect our security, our economy, indeed all that we hold dear."

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    U.S. Lawmaker Calls for Ouster of CalPERS CIO Over China Ties: Letter

    February 12, 2020

    A U.S. Republican lawmaker on Wednesday urged California to fire the chief investment officer of its public pension fund, the nation's largest, citing what he called the CIO's "long and cozy" relationship with Beijing, and assailed the fund's investments in Chinese companies.

    In a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom, U.S. Representative Jim Banks of Indiana said Yu Ben Meng, the CIO of California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), should at least be investigated.

    "Governor Newsom, if it were up to me, I would fire Mr. Meng immediately," Banks wrote in the letter.

    "At the least, I think a thorough investigation of Mr. Meng's relationship to the Chinese Communist Party and a comparison of CalPERS investments in Chinese companies before and after Mr. Meng's 2008 hiring are both warranted," he added.

    A U.S. citizen born in China, Meng has twice worked for CalPERS, the first time starting in 2008 and the second time beginning in January 2019 when he became CIO managing $400 billion in investments, according to the CalPERS website.

    In between the CalPERS stints, Meng worked for three years as deputy CIO with China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), which oversees China's U.S. Treasury security holdings, the website says.

    Citing an online article in China's People's Daily, Banks asserted that China's Thousand Talents Program recruited Meng for the job at SAFE. According to the FBI, TTP is a part of "China's non-traditional espionage against the United States."


    CalPERS CEO Marcie Frost defended Meng in a statement.

    "This is a reprehensible attack on a U.S. citizen. We fully stand behind our Chief Investment Officer who came to CalPERS with a stellar international reputation," she said.

    A CalPERS spokeswoman declined to provide a method to contact Meng, saying they had no further comment.

    The Trump administration has been urging U.S. states to join the geopolitical battle with China. In a speech to governors on Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged states to be vigilant against local threats "with consequences for our foreign policy," specifically pointing to CalPERS.

    "California's pension invested in companies that supply the People's Liberation Army that puts our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines at risk," Pompeo said.

    Echoing Pompeo's comments, Banks specifically criticized CalPERS' investments in China's Hikvision, whose surveillance equipment is used in detention camps for China's minority Uighurs.

    The Banks letter criticizes the fund for holding shares of China Communications Construction Co, which has helped build naval bases for Beijing in the South China Sea, it said.

    CalPERS' Frost defended the holdings, saying, "We've had a globally diversified portfolio for decades. This is a politically opportunistic attempt to force us to divest, undermining our ability to perform our fiduciary duty to provide retirement security to California's public employees."

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    NYPD Officer Accused Of Spying, Arrested For Allegedly Acting As Agent Of China

    September 22, 2020

    NYPD officer Baimadajie Angwang, a community affairs officer in the 111 precinct in Queens and a US Army Reservist at Fort Dix, has been arrested for allegedly acting as an agent of China.

    According to the criminal complaint, Angwang acted "at the direction and control" of Chinese government officials at the consulate in New York to report on the activities of ethnic Tibetans, assess potential ethnic Tibetan intelligence sources and use his official position at the police department to give consulate officials access to senior NYPD officials.

    He is also accused of committing wire fraud, making false statements and obstructing an official proceeding.

    "None of these activities falls within the scope of Angwang's official duties and responsibilities with either the NYPD or the USAR," the complaint said.

    Angwang, 33, is an ethnic Tibetan native of the People's Republic of China and a naturalized U.S. citizen who referred to himself as an "asset" of the People's Republic of China, according to the criminal complaint. Since June 2018, the FBI said Angwang has been "in frequent communication" with an unidentified Chinese consular official he referred to as "Boss."

    In one phone call between Angwang and the consular official, the complaint said Angwang offered "to raise our country's soft power" by having the consular official attend NYPD events. He also allegedly offered to provide the consular official with nonpublic information about the internal workings of the police department.

    "Angwang also discussed the utility of developing sources for the PRC government in the local Tibetan community and suggested that the primary qualification for a source as follows: 'If you're willing to recognize the motherland, the motherland is willing to assist you with its resources,'" the complaint said.

    Since prior to 2018 and through the present, officials say Angwang has maintained a relationship with at least two People's Republic of China officials stationed at the Consulate. One PRC official is believed to have been assigned to the "China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture," a division of the PRC's United Front Work Department ("UFWD"). The department is responsible for, among other things, neutralizing sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of the PRC.

    Recorded conversations have revealed that the PRC officials has been a "handler" of Angwang. He received tasks from them and reported back to PRC officials.

    From August 21, 2014, through August 11, 2017, Angwang called and texted one of the PRC official's cellular telephone on at least 53 occasions. From in or about and between June 2018 through March 2020, Angwang called and texted the other PRC official's cellular telephone on at least 55 occasions.

    Furthermore, Angwang has been observed entering the Consulate on numerous occasions during these time periods.

    Angwang will make his first appearance this afternoon virtually in federal court in Downtown Brooklyn.

    NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea also commented on the situation.

    "As alleged in this federal complaint, Baimadajie Angwang violated every oath he took in this country," Shea said in a statement. "One to the United States, another to the U.S. Army, and a third to this Police Department. From the earliest stages of this investigation, the NYPD's Intelligence and Internal Affairs bureaus worked closely with the FBI's Counterintelligence Division to make sure this individual would be brought to justice."

    FBI Assistant Director of New York William Sweeney Jr. released a statement on Angwang:

    "This is the definition of an insider threat - as alleged, Mr. Angwang operated on behalf of a foreign government; lied to gain his clearance, and used his position as an NYPD police officer to aid the Chinese government's subversive and illegal attempts to recruit intelligence sources. The FBI is committed to stopping hostile foreign governments from infiltrating our institutions, and we will not tolerate the behavior of those who willingly violate their oath to the United States, and covertly work against their fellow citizens. We want to thank the NYPD for its extraordinary partnership on this investigation."

    In 2018, the NYPD awarded Angwang "Officer of the Month" for his initiative and public service.

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    Deep in the Heart of Texas, a Chinese Wind Farm Raises Eyebrows

    Members of Congress fear Beijing could use the facility for espionage and economic warfare. But the Trump administration is set to let it move forward.

    June 25, 2020

    The Trump administration will not block a Chinese-owned company from building a wind farm in Texas near the Air Force’s largest pilot training base, a person familiar with the decision told Foreign Policy, allowing a project to move forward that lawmakers fear could be used to spy on American troops, disrupt flight routes, and give Beijing a foothold in the U.S. electrical grid.

    The decision comes after an analysis from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a panel of different federal agencies that examines the impact of foreign investments in the United States, found that the wind farm does not currently pose a national security concern. But GH America Energy, the U.S. unit of a Chinese firm, must still mitigate the impact of wind turbines that could interfere with low-level flight training routes at Laughlin Air Force Base. Those plans are currently under review in a separate process led by the Air Force and the Defense Department’s Military Aviation and Installation Assurance Siting Clearinghouse.

    For years the Trump administration has been on a collision course with China over trade, geopolitics, and, now, the coronavirus pandemic. Amid a groundswell of anti-China sentiment in Washington, top administration officials have begun hammering other countries, including close allies, for allowing Chinese investment in their critical infrastructure and other industries relevant to national security.

    Now, the prospect of turbines cropping up at the Blue Hills Wind development, just a few dozen miles from the U.S.-Mexico border and the limestone bedrock of the Edwards Plateau, has brought the U.S. competition with China to an unlikely place: the small town of Del Rio, Texas, home to Laughlin and a dryland paradise for nature lovers and hunters that boasts ancient rock art dating back before the days of the Egyptian pharaohs.

    The developer, GH America Energy, a subsidiary of Guanghui Energy Company, a firm owned by a former Chinese army officer and the richest person in China’s embattled Xinjiang province, declined requests to comment for this story. A Treasury Department spokeswoman declined to comment, citing policy preventing the agency from talking publicly about individual CFIUS cases.

    Under CFIUS law, the United States can put the project under review at any time if there are new developments at the site, or if the Chinese-owned company does not notify it of changes. In the meantime, members of Congress and local officials fear the foreign company could interfere with the air base, sully the pristine wilderness, burrow into the electrical grid, or even use the project as a platform for Chinese government-directed espionage.

    “Why this location and why this project?” Rep. Will Hurd, a Republican who represents a district that stretches westward across Texas from San Antonio toward El Paso and includes the project, told Foreign Policy. “Why are we allowing a Chinese company to do that in the U.S.? A former U.S. general would not be able to do this kind of project in China.”

    That is a question that’s bedeviled military officials, local leaders, activists, and lawmakers who have tracked this case for two years. The problem of wind farms popping up near military flight routes isn’t new: Then-Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast had been dealing with the issue for more than a decade when in November 2017 he took over the Air Force’s San Antonio-based Education and Training Command, which oversees Laughlin. But while Kwast believed the military’s improving technology could prevent wind-powered turbines from messing with radar signals, when he learned that a Chinese company was buying up acreage near Laughlin Air Force Base just a year into his tenure, it alerted him to a potential national security risk.

    “It triggered alarms the first time that we got evidence of Chinese money,” said Kwast, who is now retired. “If the electricity stops or the water stops flowing, those bases stop operating.”

    Even more puzzling, the business case for the new venture didn’t make much sense to Kwast and local officials. How would the property—which lawmakers and county advocates say is in the middle of nowhere and did not have significant road access at the time—be able to turn a profit?

    The Del Rio community also began to get worried. Local leaders were intent on salvaging Air Force training routes that could be jeopardized by the construction of large wind turbines. Laughlin graduates more than 350 student pilots each year, according to a 2018 release, and its flight routes are critical to the area’s economy. The base contributed $2 billion to the state’s economy last year, and it indirectly or directly provides more than 10,000 jobs, estimates from the Texas comptroller’s office show.

    But the forces that let Guanghui buy up the acreage near Laughlin and Del Rio have been brewing for more than two decades. Project developers love the lack of red tape; foreign buyers have come to love the Texas’s deregulatory swagger and loose rules on property purchases. (The state’s land is about 95 percent privately owned.) The federal government has some legal authorities in place to review and block foreign investments over national security concerns, such as the CFIUS process.

    In Texas, however, there’s a high bar for authorities to step in and stop development on wind farms. Ever since the Texas legislature put in place a 1999 mandate calling on the state’s utilities to get more power from renewable sources, it’s been hard to stop these ventures from going forward.

    “On the state and federal level there are no regulations regarding the development of these wind farms,” said Jack Hession, a senior vice president at Madison Government Affairs, a Washington lobbying shop that is representing the Del Rio community, told Foreign Policy. “There’s no way to deny it as it was purchased. The proposal to do a wind farm was a viable option for the owner.”

    The issue first came to the attention of local officials in early 2018, after Guanghui purchased properties including nine ranches under the name of Brazos Highland Properties LP, environmentalists say, a holding company controlled by the firm. The company proposed building 50 to 130 wind turbines that could reach up to 700 feet above ground level, according to estimates that local officials provided to the Trump administration.

    Beyond the geopolitics and national security concerns, the project has also riled up local environmentalists who worry that the wind farm could despoil prime clear waters cherished by boaters, nature lovers, and hunters from across the state.

    “Hunters from Houston, Dallas, they don’t want to be looking at tall turbines and watching red lights blinking on the horizon all night,” said Randy Nunns, a landowner and the president of the board of the Devils River Conservancy, a local environmental advocacy group that has opposed the wind farm.

    For now, Guanghui appears to have assuaged—just barely—concerns that were its biggest potential hurdle other than CFIUS, the Air Force’s requirement to clear turbines from the proposed low-level training route, Hession said, though he cautioned there is no deal or agreement in place. An Air Force spokesperson told Foreign Policy that an agreement has not been finalized but is currently under review by both the service and the Pentagon’s Military Aviation and Installation Assurance Siting Clearinghouse.

    That hasn’t fully satisfied local officials or Congress, though, who fear that the worst is yet to come as Guanghui eyes further development of wind and solar projects in the area that could encroach upon flight routes.

    Letters obtained by Foreign Policy show that by February, a Val Verde County judge and Del Rio’s mayor had told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett that the project posed long-term challenges to flight training operations at Laughlin.

    “Our greatest concern is the long-term implications this will have on the Air Force’s mission of pilot training not with a single application, but rather a cumulative strategy that cannot be evaluated in the first filing,” County Judge Lewis G. Owens Jr. and Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano wrote to Mnuchin in February. “We believe that this project and all future projects of a similar nature will result in unacceptable risk to national security of the United States.”

    Lawmakers who might normally welcome foreign investment with open arms are also looking askance at the project. Leading the charge has been Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, who traveled to Laughlin Air Force Base in February and raised concerns that the project poses a potential threat of Chinese espionage.

    “Sen. Cruz is particularly concerned by the threat of a Chinese-owned company erecting wind farms near Laughlin. China has demonstrated a willingness to invest billions of dollars in specific, targeted economic initiatives through private companies to expand the global reach of their security and espionage capabilities,” a spokesperson for Cruz told Foreign Policy. “Not only will these wind farms near Laughlin affect training routes, they could also risk our national security.”

    In recent years, Chinese companies have jumped headlong into the Texas energy market, despite worsening political relations between Washington and Beijing. Chinese turbine-makers sparked a political row a decade ago when they sought to use Obama-era recovery funds to build a wind farm there. Another Chinese company began constructing Rattlesnake Wind Farm in Brady, Texas, in 2017, and one Chinese firm snapped up shale assets in the oil-rich Permian Basin, a trend experts figure could continue with plunging oil prices amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    But it’s not just any company buying up land at the Carma, Palmer, and Morningstar ranches, among the nine ranches Guanghui has purchased in Val Verde County. When Rep. Hurd’s staff began looking into Sun Guangxin, the founder of the Guanghui Energy Company, they quickly learned he was a former People’s Liberation Army officer and one of the largest landowners in China’s Xinjiang province, the current site of a sweeping campaign by Beijing to intern around 1 million ethnic Uighur minorities under the guise of a counterterrorism operation.

    Sun first made his mark buying up swaths of formerly state-owned real estate in Xinjiang after leaving the Chinese military, through which he participated in the 1979 invasion of Vietnam, according to the South China Morning Post. The firm outwardly advertises its connections to the Chinese Communist Party on its website.

    President Donald Trump told Axios this week that he had held out on enacting Treasury sanctions against Chinese officials involved in the internment camps in order to secure a trade deal with Beijing, but under a law signed this month, the White House could impose penalties on Chinese Communist Party members involved in the camps. Daniel Hoffman, a former high-ranking CIA official, urged Congress in an op-ed for Fox News to determine whether Sun or his associates should face sanctions for possible abuses of Uighurs.

    The Trump administration had already raised questions about Guanghui’s investors engaging in a pattern of double-dealing in American business. In 2018, the U.S. Trade Representative published a report that accused Evergrande Group, the largest minority shareholder in Guanghui and run by one of the richest people in China, of attempting to steal intellectual property from a California-based startup.

    Just as Congress, fretful that China could use telecommunications companies as a Trojan horse in the development of 5G mobile networks, is pushing to ban companies like Huawei, there are concerns that Chinese firms with government and military connections could pose a threat to the electricity grid.

    “We don’t want to have that same concern when it comes to our grid, right?” Hurd told Foreign Policy. “So should another foreign-owned entity be able to put power on the grid which means they’re controlling some of that power right now? I think the answer is no.”

    U.S. intelligence agencies have harbored concerns about China breaking into the grid with backdoor hacks for the better part of a decade. Then-National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers told Congress in November 2014 that malicious hackers could potentially target the grid by breaking into industrial control systems undergirding power networks and critical infrastructure, instructing turbines to go offline.

    In May, Trump took a step to curtail possible manipulation of the power grid, signing an executive order that would ban acquisitions of electrical equipment built by “foreign adversaries.” The Energy Department has until the end of September to determine which countries the United States will designate as adversaries under the order.

    But lawmakers are still worried that Chinese companies like Guanghui buying up wind farms, giving them inroads into Texas’s electrical grid, could allow them another lever to manipulate and overload the system.

    “Would they be able to manipulate the industrial control systems on their side? Obviously, because they would they would own that,” said Hurd. “Is there a way that by being connected to [the] electrical grid, that you would be able to overload that grid?”

    Asked if he was worried that foreign companies controlling swaths of the electrical grid could be capable of triggering statewide outages, Hurd, a former CIA officer, did not hesitate to answer. “100 percent,” he said.

    Top U.S. officials have also raised alarm bells about Chinese energy investments in the past if the projects were too close to U.S. military installations, for fear of exposing the bases to electronic surveillance or other forms of espionage. President Barack Obama in 2012 blocked a Chinese-owned firm from pursuing a wind farm close to a naval test facility in Oregon, citing national security concerns.

    The Obama administration had a ready-made authority to intervene in that case, nearly a decade ago, under long-standing CFIUS rules that give the president the ability to block foreign acquisitions of U.S. businesses, known as “brownfield investments,” on national security grounds. The U.S. military trains pilots for electronic warfare aircraft and tests drones at the site, in Eastern Oregon near the Columbia River.

    U.S. presidents have only used CFIUS six times to stop foreign transactions since the body was founded in 1975, but Obama and Trump have combined to stop five of those purchases in the past decade, with Trump most recently using a presidential order in March to force a Chinese company to divest interests in the cloud-based hotel management firm StayNTouch.

    Since then, Congress has given the Trump administration stronger powers to protect American companies from foreign acquisitions, especially in the tech sector, as the White House has pledged to crack down on foreign investment—particularly from China. In 2018, Trump signed the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act as part of the Pentagon’s annual authorizing bill. That law gives CFIUS new authority to probe foreign investments in undeveloped land near U.S. government buildings and military bases, such as the Chinese-owned wind farm development near Laughlin Air Force Base.

    “We’re putting a lot of safeguards in, and we’re doing a lot of things against foreign acquisition of property, and especially where they’re near sensitive military installations,” Trump said during a roundtable to roll out the law in August 2018.

    The new law has chagrined free-traders, who say that the reforms give CFIUS too much power to squash private foreign investments without stopping takeovers in larger sectors of the U.S. economy. The number of yearly CFIUS notices had already more than tripled between 2009 and 2017.

    What’s more, any decision CFIUS makes is extremely difficult for companies to try to overturn, said David Mortlock, a former White House and State Department sanctions official and now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank. “There really is very little ability to challenge CFIUS’s national security determinations,” he said.

    “The statute itself protects CFIUS’s decisions from judicial intervention,” he added. “But also the fact that they’re based on national security risks of foreign investments, the administration’s discretion is at its zenith and courts are very unlikely to intervene in such a decision.”

    But even with the beefed-up protections, veteran national security experts are worried that there’s not enough being done to stop powerful Chinese companies like Guanghui from passing along information about U.S. utilities to the nation’s army.

    “Something as large as this project down in Del Rio and particularly given the fact that it’s linked to the power grid in the U.S. could not be going on without PLA involvement,” said James Olson, a former CIA chief of counterintelligence and now a professor at Texas A&M University.

    “Disrupting electronic activities of all kinds giving them a potential platform in the vicinity of the military base is not something the PLA would overlook,” he said.

    It took more than a year of lobbying from local officials and environmental advocates and to get a meeting with Sun, the Guanghui chief. Local conservationists had been blindsided when the French-owned Rocksprings Val Verde wind farm popped up in the county without warning in March 2017. They were determined not to be dealt another blow that could harm the area’s pristine aquifers and migratory routes for eagles, bats, and butterflies.

    In fact, it took a lot of digging to find out that the Chinese-owned company was involved at all. When Brazos Highland Properties LP began buying up 140,000 acres of land in the county, the only reporting that advocates from the nearby Devils River Conservancy could find on it was through Val Verde County’s property appraisal search.

    “It was very cloak and dagger-esque,” said Julie Lewey, the executive director of the Devils River Conservancy. “We didn’t know it was Chinese, we didn’t know anything. We just knew they were planning to build wind farms.”

    Lewey and her team only knew that a wind farm was in the works because another company had registered turbines on one Brazos-owned ranch with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, a nonprofit that manages most of the state’s power grid.

    It was only when the conservancy backed a bill in the Texas legislature that would have given the state’s Parks and Wildlife Department authority oversight on wind farm siting that representatives from GH America Energy—the U.S. subsidiary—showed up in Austin to oppose it. The bill died in committee.

    Lewey, the Laughlin base commander, and county commissioners were finally invited to meet Sun, introduced to the group as “Chairman Sun,” at his ranch in July 2019. But after they were escorted past the gates to his home in a large caravan, they found that the conversation didn’t get to the big issues.

    “It was about 95 percent a social meeting,” Lewey said. “Not a whole lot of business concerns were brought up there.”

    Conservationists have had several follow-up meetings with company representatives, but they aren’t convinced they are being heard. “They have listened to us,” she said. “I don’t know if they’ve heard us. But they’ve listened to us.”

    Questions over Guanghui exemplify broader concerns about Chinese investment in foreign countries. Given how centralized China’s entire governing model is, it’s difficult to tell in a Chinese business venture where purely business interests end, and geopolitical interests begin.

    “This gets to a larger debate about China’s economic system itself, about the division between the state and private sector,” said Ashley Feng, an expert on China’s economy at the Center for a New American Security. “Are Chinese private firms that are going abroad and acquiring technology and companies and land, are they actually acting independently from the state? That’s a blurred line.”

    Others place China’s U.S. acquisitions alongside their stated plans to attain dominance in emerging high-tech industries by 2025, setting up a much more zero-sum competition.

    “This is an economic war,” Kwast, the former Air Force commander, said of Chinese thinking driving investments in the United States. “China is looking to invest in anything that can give them a competitive advantage on anything. They want to win this economic war without firing a shot.”

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    Default Re: Is China developing a beachhead inside the borders of America?

    Confucius Institutes: China’s Trojan Horse

    May 21, 2021

    When the Left and the Right agree on something in these disputatious times, the wise man will want to know what it is. And what has brought these warring factions together, however briefly? The Confucius Institutes that dot American campuses.

    The progressive New Republic magazine and the conservative National Association of Scholars (NAS) both warn that the Institutes are not the innocent cultural centers offering Chinese language instruction they pretend to be. They are, rather, a key stratagem of China’s “soft war” against America, crafted, in the words of NAS senior researcher Rachelle Peterson, to “teach political lessons that unduly favor China.”

    Writing in the New Republic, Isaac Stone Fish referred to “an epidemic of self-censorship at U.S universities” that funnels students away from “topics likely to offend the Chinese Communist Party.” Topics like the disastrous Great Leap Forward from 1958-1962 that enforced collectivization in the towns and countryside and resulted in the deaths of 30 to 50 million Chinese.

    China’s use of “hard power,” such as its aggressive weapons buildup, its suppression of free speech and assembly in Hong Kong and throughout the mainland, its stern warnings that Taiwan must not chart an independent course, and its colonization of the South China Sea, draws the headlines and attracts the attention of policymakers. Meanwhile Confucius Institutes, financed by the Chinese government and supervised by the Chinese Communist Party, are molding attitudes about China, painting an idyllic portrait in which Mao Zedong is a revolutionary hero and the Tiananmen Square massacre never happened. That the Confucius Institutes are instruments of propaganda was confirmed by Li Changchun, the head of propaganda for the CCP, who boasted that the Institutes were “an important part of China’s overseas propaganda setup.”

    Founded in 2004, the Confucius Institutes are a global phenomenon, enrolling more than nine million students at 525 institutes in 146 countries and regions. More than 100 institutes have opened in the United States, including at prestigious universities such as Columbia and Stanford. They are mostly staffed and funded by an agency of the Chinese government’s Ministry of Education—the Office of Chinese Languages Council International, or Hanban. The Hanban also operates Confucius Classrooms in an estimated 500 primary and secondary schools in the United States.

    A 243-page NAS report described in detail the many strings attached to the goodies offered by Confucius Institutes:

    Intellectual freedom. Chinese teachers—hired, paid by and accountable to the Communist Chinese government—are pressured to avoid “sensitive” topics like the Tiananmen Square Massacre and the Cultural Revolution.

    Transparency. Contracts between American universities and the Hanban are rarely made public. One university went so far as to forbid Rachelle Peterson from visiting their campus as part of her research.

    Entanglement. Confucius Institutes cover all the expenses of classes and also offer scholarships to American students to study abroad. With such financial incentives, universities find it difficult to criticize Chinese policies like its genocidal treatment of Muslim Uyghurs in Western China.

    Soft power. Confucius Institutes avoid discussing China’s widespread human-rights abuses and present Taiwan and Tibet as undisputed Chinese territories. As a result, writes Peterson, the institutes “develop a generation of American students with selective knowledge of a major country”—and a major adversary. Confucius Institutes are a textbook example of soft power that causes universities in receipt of Chinese largesse to stay silent about controversial subjects like China’s use of forced labor to pick cotton, a 21st century variation of the slavery of the ante-bellum South.

    The Confucius Institutes pretend to be a Chinese version of cultural institutions like the Alliance Française or the Goethe Institute, but they are in reality a propaganda machine funded and directed by the Chinese government. Based on the findings of its 2017 report, the NAS recommends that “all universities close their Confucius Institutes.”

    Writing in the New Republic—the leading journal of the Left—Isaac Stone Fish said he had found on many American campuses “a worrying prevalence of self-censorship regarding China.” Some of America’s most distinguished schools kowtowed to Communist China, including Columbia University’s Global Center in Beijing, which cancelled talks “it feared would upset Chinese officials.” North Carolina State University canceled a visit by the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s revered religious leader. The university’s pragmatic provost explained his decision with the revealing statement that, “China is a major trading partner for North Carolina.”

    Academic self-censorship has an impact far beyond the ivy tower, Fish points out. It restricts the ability of U.S. policymakers, business leaders, human-rights advocates, and the general public to make the right decisions about how to interact with China. For the Hanban, the correct decision is one that acknowledges China’s rightful place as the Middle Kingdom of Asia and a global superpower as important as the United States.

    Leading American universities are not immune to China’s hard-edged soft power. Minxin Pei, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and an open critic of China’s authoritarian government, refers to the American institutions that have programs in China as “hostages.” “If you’re Stanford or Harvard and you have operations in China,” Pei asks, “are you going to host a famous dissident?”

    The question of self-censorship is a proxy, argues Fish, for the critical question of how to react to the global rise of China. Should the U.S. protest it? Accede to it? Try to stop it? Regardless of the reservations of liberal U.S. academics about American global dominance, he says, “many China studies professors have spent enough time in China to conclude they don’t want to live in China’s world.” American academics should think critically, he says, about “how to respond to China’s growing influence instead of acting as [President Jinping] Xi’s willing censors.”

    China’s dissemination of what amounts to communist propaganda on American campuses has attracted the attention of U.S. senators and congressmen across the political spectrum. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) referred to China’s “tentacles of influence,” such as the Confucius Institutes, the setting up of CCP cells in U.S. businesses, and espionage targeted at high-tech research. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) expressed concern about the Chinese government’s aggressive attempts to use Confucius Institutes to influence critical analysis of “China’s past history and present policies.”

    A bipartisan group of Senators ranging from Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to Ted Cruz (R-TX) called out “those that seek to suppress information and undermine democratic institutions and internationally accepted human rights.” Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tom Carper (D-DE) asserted that absent full transparency of operations in the U.S. and full reciprocity for U.S. college in China, “Confucius Institutes should not continue in the United States.”

    U.S. intelligence agencies joined the chorus of concern, led by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who revealed that the Bureau was monitoring the activities of the institutes closely. As of this April, there were 47 Confucius Institutes in the U.S., down from a high of just over 100, led by Columbia, Stanford, UCLA, Rutgers, and George Washington University. There were also Confucius Classrooms in seven K-12 school districts. Many of the CI closures occurred in 2018 when Congress passed legislation forbidding schools with Confucius Institutes from receiving language funding from the Defense Department. Almost immediately, 22 schools closed their Confucius Institutes.

    The University of Chicago shut down its institute after 100 professors signed a petition citing the “dubious practice of allowing an external institution to staff academic courses within the University.” A University of Chicago professor called the Confucius Institutes “academic malware” injected into the university system. In response, Hanban attempted American-style rebranding, changing its name from Hanban to the Ministry of Education Center for Language Exchange and Cooperation. It created a separate organization—the Chinese International Education Foundation—which will fund and oversee Confucius Institutes.

    But the raison d’etre remained the same—to present a carefully sanitized story of a powerful aggressive China. The 90 million members of the CCP are dedicated practitioners of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Xi thought as set forth in a recent document of the CCP’s Central Committee. It warns officials across the country, including those who manage the Confucius Institutes, to be fully alert to the threat of certain Western ideas, known as the “Seven Don’t Speaks”: universal ideas; freedom of speech; civil society; civil rights; historical errors of the CCP; official bourgeoise universal ideas; and judicial independence.

    These “Don’ts” are a checklist for scholars who study in or about China. If they recognize them as threats to “Communism with Chinese characteristics” and exclude them from their classes and publications, well and good. But if they are found guilty of incorrect classroom content or publications, their families in China are threatened, and they are banished from returning to China.

    According to Lucy Hornby of the Financial Times’s Beijing bureau, China has long used the real or imagined benefits of “access”—such as visas, research cooperation, and the “honor” of being met at the Purple Light Pavilion in the Imperial City in Beijing by someone who far outranks you—to obtain acquiescence and/or silence on “red line” issues like the Three T’s: Taiwan, Tibet, and Tiananmen.

    Regardless of their brand, reports Peterson, Confucius Institutes will fulfill the Chinese government’s goal of maintaining outposts on American college campuses “where they can disseminate propaganda, conduct espionage, monitor overseas Chinese students, and advance the [government’s] agenda to ‘make the foreign serve China.’”

    In acknowledgement of the Institutes’ threat to academic freedom and opposition to telling the truth about China’s persistent violation of human rights, the Trump administration proposed that American colleges and universities be required to disclose any financial ties with Confucius Institutes. (Some schools accept as much as $1.7 million annually.) Despite the bi-partisan criticism of the Institutes, the Biden administration withdrew the Trump proposal—sending a global signal that, in Peterson’s words, “the Biden administration will not take Confucius Institutes seriously.” The Biden White House should talk to FBI Director Wray, who takes the Institutes very seriously.

    Over 2,000 years ago, besieging Greeks tricked their way into the city of Troy with the gift of a giant wooden horse within which they hid solders who, while the Trojans were celebrating a victory, opened the gates and let in the rest of the Greek army. Ever since, we have been told, “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” The Confucius Institutes are the modern equivalent of a Trojan horse, seemingly benign and apolitical, but committed to shaping our understanding of an authoritarian adversary out to undermine America’s leading role in Asia and around the world.

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