By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
It would seem that it does not take much for one-time U.S. officials to sell out to the highest bidder… this time, it is the Chinese. These individuals are now lobbyists for the communist Chinese — a stone cold enemy of the United States and a threat to our existence. Where does business end and treason begin here? Evidently loyalty ends where their bank accounts begin. As China becomes increasingly wealthy, they have retained D.C. insiders to lobby their interests and do their bidding. Just as China has infiltrated our colleges and businesses, they have insinuated themselves into our halls of power. The best example of that is Mitch McConnell and his wife Elaine Chao. She has a powerful family in China and they both have economic interests there, which in my viewpoint, compromises them. But they certainly aren’t alone.
I came across a great article at The Daily Beast by Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian on the subject yesterday. I don’t go there often as a lot of what they put out is very leftist, but this caught my attention: “Meet the U.S. Officials Now in China’s Sphere of Influence.” It covers how the Chinese government and companies are retaining public relations and lobbying firms in D.C. Many times, they are hiring former U.S. officials to work directly for them.
For a company to do business in China, a Chinese government official must sit on the board. If you play by Chinese rules, it opens a multitude of doors for a company there. If you don’t, you are shut out and can’t do business in China, period. This power holds sway over many companies that want to do business in China. This has raised concerns that current U.S. government officials may be considering their future prospects in China even before leaving office. Such people are many times easily compromised by their financial interests. This is not new and in many corners of The Beltway, it is considered ‘normal’. But it’s not and it is alarming. It opens the door to communists buying influence in the American political sphere.
“Nobody in the 1980s would have represented the Russian government. And now you find so many lobbying for the Chinese government,” said Frank Wolf, a retired U.S. representative from Virginia who long served as the co-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. “I served in Congress for 34 years. I find it shocking.” Wolf, by the way, is a Republican and has long been concerned over human rights in China. Allen-Ebrahimian has come up with a list of a few that are now being influenced by China and some of them are very familiar unfortunately. I am going to excerpt and give you exactly what Bethany wrote as she did a great job. I just want to point out here that you will notice that she left out political affiliation for the most part. These officials come from both sides of the political aisle.
From The Daily Beast:
Boustany served as the U.S. representative for Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District until 2017 and co-chaired the U.S.-China working group. After leaving Congress, he joined the lobbying firm Capitol Counsel. Boustany has registered as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, representing the U.S.-China Transpacific Foundation, which is based in Las Vegas and is sponsored by the Chinese government. According to FARA filings, Capitol Counsel helps the foundation bring delegations of U.S. members of Congress to China to “enhance their understanding on the cultural, economic, political, and social developments of the People’s Republic of China, thus helping strengthen U.S.-China relations.” The foundation provided Capitol Counsel with an initial fee of $50,000 in late 2017, when the contract began.
The former House speaker joined Squire Patton Boggs after he retired from the House in 2015. The lobbying firm has long represented the Chinese embassy in Washington; Boehner serves “as a strategic adviser to clients in the U.S. and abroad, and will focus on global business development.” Boehner helped lead the effort to grant China most favored trading nation status in the late 1990s.
Christenson served as a U.S. representative from Nebraska from 1995 to 1999. Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corp hired him as a lobbyist after he left Congress. After the FBI investigation into ZTE’s violation of sanctions on Iran became public, Christenson resigned from his position there.
Firestein served as a career diplomat from 1992 to 2010. After leaving government, he joined the East-West Institute, where he spearheaded a series of dialogues between high-ranking political party leaders in the United States and China. In many of its dialogues, which bring U.S. leaders to China, the East-West Institute has partnered with the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation, which is closely connected to the United Front, a political-influence arm of the Chinese Communist Party; the institute has also partnered with a Chinese organization known to be a front for the People’s Liberation Army’s political-intelligence agency.
Firestein now serves as the director of the University of Texas at Austin’s China Public Policy Center. Firestein proposed forming a partnership between the China Public Policy Center and the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation. But under pressure from U.S. lawmakers concerned about Chinese influence, UT Austin decided to turn down the proposal this year.
Holtzman worked in the executive office of the president as special adviser for public affairs to the U.S. trade ambassador under Bill Clinton, and later served as an adviser to the director of policy planning staff at the State Department under Colin Powell. Holtzman is now a partner at public-relations firm BLF Worldwide, where he managed the campaign for China’s bid to host the 2008 Olympics. Holtzman is registered as a foreign agent and represents the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation. According to FARA filings, in this role he will “provide services for the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation to promote its interests in the U.S., including expanding third-party supporters, generating media placements, arranging visits for delegations to China, and supporting CUSEF activity with the U.S.”
Phillips spent 28 years in the CIA, finishing his tenure as station chief in Beijing. But after he left the agency, Phillips took the unusual step of remaining in Beijing and joining the private-investigations firm Mintz Group. Multiple sources told The Daily Beast that Phillips’ decision to peddle his services in Beijing has raised eyebrows within the agency.
Donald (Andy) Purdy Jr.
As a White House staff member in the George W. Bush administration, Purdy helped draft a cybersecurity strategy in 2003 known as the U.S. National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace before moving to the Department of Homeland Security, where he helped craft cybersecurity initiatives and served as the lead cyber- official at DHS and the U.S. government; he later became the chief security officer for Huawei’s U.S. operations.
Ambassador Clark T. Randt, Jr.
Randt served as U.S. ambassador to China from 2001 to 2009. Since 2009, he has served as president of Randt and Co. LLC, which advises companies doing business in China. He is a special adviser of HOPU Jinghua (Beijing) Investment Consultancy Co., and sits on the advisory boards of numerous organizations with business interests closely tied to China, including Qualcomm, Wynn Resorts, and Valmont Industries.
Salmon served as U.S. representative for Arizona’s 5th Congressional District and chaired the Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee on the House Foreign Relations Committee. He retired from politics in 2016. He now serves as the vice president for government affairs at Arizona State University, where his position includes “working with the governments of other countries to advance international projects.”
Arizona State is home to a Confucius Institute, a Beijing-funded educational enterprise that Salmon has said brings around $200,000 a year to the university. At an April event in Washington, co-hosted by the Confucius Institute as it faced congressional scrutiny over threats to academic freedom on U.S. campuses, Salmon dismissed rising concerns about China as “McCarthyism” and said that the United States should work “with the only other superpower and not against it.”
James D. Wolfensohn
A former president of the World Bank Group, Wolfensohn has served as a member of the international advisory committee of the China Investment Corporation, China’s sovereign wealth fund.
This should alarm Americans. Just as we have Russian spies infiltrating conservative and liberal groups alike, we have the Chinese who have been doing so for decades. Those who look for wealth are easily corrupted in such ways. It is not “McCarthyism” to point out that we have let our institutions become compromised with communist spies and that they are actively not only buying up pieces of our country, but are buying control and power in our government institutions. There are many more ‘useful idiots’ on Capitol Hill than those above. Isn’t it time we put America first and stopped inviting the enemy in to sabotage and conquer us? Just a thought. Should we go to war with China, we could be defeated from within before we are ever defeated on the battlefield.