Though little known beyond elite circles, the Committee of 100 is one of the Chinese Communist Party’s most important “influence” organizations in the United States.
Much like the recently defunded Confucius Institutes — the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act stipulates that no Pentagon money may be used for a program that includes the Confucius Institutes — the C-100 publicly promotes increased Chinese-American relations and understanding while, in reality, toeing the Chinese Communist Party line to America’s cultural, business, and political leaders.
During Xi Jinping’s first U.S. visit as Chinese head of state in September 2015, Xi praised the C-100 before guests at a welcome dinner co-hosted by the National Committee on U.S.–China Relations, the U.S.–China Business Council, and the Washington State Welcoming Committee–Seattle 2015.
“As a Chinese saying goes, the fire burns high when everyone brings wood to it. It is the loving care and hard work of … friendly organizations and people from all walks of life in both countries that have made China–U.S. relations flourish,” Xi said.
“In particular … the Committee of 100 … and many other friendly groups and individuals have made untiring efforts over the years to promote friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries and brought the relationship this far.”
C-100 is also viewed favorably by leading Chinese Communist Party officials.