by Karen Lees
While we were distracted, the communist Chinese government, the largest dictatorial regime on earth, has been lobbying all fifty of our U.S. governors to make deals. These “deals” promise infusions of cash into state budgets, but with insidious strings attached that effect our freedom.
In a speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on February 8th to the National Governor’s Association, he disclosed that the Chinese government had assembled a list rating each U.S. governor as “friendly,” “hardline,” or “ambiguous.”
Where are America’s investigative journalists digging for more on Chinese meddling? Especially since the FBI arrested a Harvard professor and two others in January because of their ties to the Chinese government. Did everyone ignore Vice President Pence’s speech at the Hudson Institute in 2018 on China’s tactics against the U.S?
You’d think communist Chinese infiltration of our state and local governments, including our public schools and universities, would be one of the most newsworthy issues of our lifetime. Yet, the mainstream media is curiously evasive on the subject, giving it little airtime or online space. Most interpreted Pompeo’s address to governors as a warning of something that COULD happen, when he was very clear: it has ALREADY happened. As usual, the media created a 24/7 distraction of irrelevant topics and opinions to avoid the subject.
If you watched Pompeo’s speech, you may be thinking the same thing. If this is the first you’ve heard about it, you decide: is Chinese influence of America’s governors important enough to prioritize it in the news?
Doesn’t Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution come into play here? “No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation…No State shall, without the Consent of Congress…enter into any Agreement or Compact…with a foreign Power…”
For brevity, below are excerpts from Secretary Pompeo’s address: (emphasis mine)
“Last year, I received an invitation to an event that promised to be, quote, “an occasion for exclusive deal-making.” It said, quote, “the opportunities for mutually beneficial economic development between China and our individual states [are] tremendous,” end of quote.”
“Deal-making sounds like it might have come from President Trump, but the invitation was actually from a former governor. I was being invited to the U.S.-China Governors’ Collaboration Summit. It was an event co-hosted by the National Governors Association and something called the Chinese People’s Association For Friendship and Foreign Countries. Sounds pretty harmless.”
“What the invitation did not say is that the group – the group I just mentioned – is the public face of the Chinese Communist Party’s official foreign influence agency, the United Front Work Department.”
“Now, I was lucky. I was familiar with that organization from my time as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. But it got me thinking. How many of you made the link between that group and Chinese Communist Party officials?”
“What if you made a new friend while you were at that event? What if your new friend asked you for introductions to other politically connected and powerful people? What if your new friend offered to invest big money in your state, perhaps in your pension, in industries sensitive to our national security?”
THESE AREN’T HYPOTHETICALS. THESE SCENARIOS ARE ALL TOO TRUE, and they impact American foreign policy significantly…”IT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR STATES, WITH CONSEQUENCES… for the citizens that reside in your states, and indeed, FOR EACH OF YOU.”
“Indeed, last year, a Chinese Government-backed think tank in Beijing produced a report that assessed all 50 of America’s governors on their attitudes towards China. They labeled each of you “friendly,” “hardline,” or “ambiguous.” I’LL LET YOU DECIDE WHERE YOU THINK YOU BELONG. SOMEONE IN CHINA ALREADY HAS. MANY OF YOU, INDEED, IN THAT REPORT ARE REFERENCED BY NAME.”
“So here’s the lesson: The lesson is that competition with China is not just a federal issue. It’s why I wanted to be here today… And, in fact, whether you are viewed by the CCP as friendly or hardline, know that it’s working you, know that it’s working the team around you. Competition with China is happening inside of your state, and it affects our capacity to perform America’s vital national security functions…”
Pompeo continued, “In fact, I would be surprised if most of you in the audience have not been lobbied by the Chinese Communist Party directly. Chinese Communist Party friendship organizations like the one that I referenced earlier are in Richmond; Minneapolis; Portland; Jupiter, Florida; and many other cities around the country.”
“Last year, a high school – A HIGH SCHOOL – in Chicago, disinvited a Taiwanese representative to serve on a climate panel after Chinese pressure. It’s one thing to pressure the Secretary of State of the United States of America. It seems quite something else to go after a high school principal.“
“CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY OFFICIALS, TOO, ARE CULTIVATING RELATIONSHIPS WITH COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS AND LOCAL POLITICIANS – often through what are known as sister cities programs.”
“It shows depth. It shows systemization. It shows intent.”
Secretary Pompeo concluded by saying, “You all have important missions leading your states. These are complex, difficult jobs… and you get curveballs every day… But 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, all of those freedoms.”
Decide for yourself why the mainstream media has neglected to do in-depth reporting on communist Chinese infiltration of America – right down to influencing local governments; even our schools. Could it be that the mainstream media has been too busy earning a “friendly” rating on China’s list?
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Karen Lees is the senior editor for the Language of Liberty series.