by Catherine Mortensen
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is seeking to dominate America, not only militarily and economically, but by undermining our cultural institutions. The CCP meddling has gone undetected, in many cases, for years. But a new digital news site is aggressively shining a spotlight on the CCP’s infiltration campaign in the United States. Since relaunching in 2020, the National Pulse has been dishing up a steady stream of exclusive stories exposing China’s nefarious infiltration program.
Here are a few of their recent headlines:
Natalie Winters, a Senior Reporter at the National Pulse, is finding scoops the mainstream media is missing. “The Chinese Communist Party likes nothing more than to fly under the radar,” Winters said. “They hate nothing more than the stories we publish at the National Pulse which bring the infiltration campaigns they are waging to light.”
Winters said the CCP has successfully targeted the following five groups as part of their overall campaign to influence and infiltrate the country:
- Mainstream Media
- Think tanks
- Current elected officials
- Former elected officials
In a recent exclusive story, Winters noted that according to a U.S. government report, the CCP is attempting to “to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party” and “influence overseas Chinese communities, foreign governments, and other actors to take actions or adopt positions supportive of Beijing’s preferred policies.”
Here’s how it works: A group called the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), a Chinese Communist Party-funded group seeking to garner “favorable coverage” and “disseminate positive messages,” sponsored trips to China with the explicit goal of “effectively disseminat[ing] positive messages to the media, key influencers, and opinion leaders, and the general public,” according to filings with the Department of Justice’s Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).
Dubbed “familiarization trips,” the criteria for participants included “effectiveness and opportunities for favorable coverage” in order to secure “favorable” coverage.”
According to the federal filings, in recent years, here are just a few of the many news outlets that have participated in private dinners and CCP-funded trips:
The New York Times
The Washington Post
Los Angeles Times
The New Yorker
According to Winters, “evidenced through FARA filings, a relationship spanning over a decade between establishment media outlets and CUSEF can be discerned.”
Winters said her reporting showed the CCP has also aggressively targeted American colleges, universities, and even elementary schools through Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms. “For example, schools will be encouraged to use certain textbooks actually written by committees of the Chinese Communist Party that are explicitly designed to “mobilize advocates” on behalf of the CCP,” Winters explained.
According to Winters, the think tank that is “most in bed” with the CCP is the Brookings Institution. “These think tanks will set up a China shop where they will release reports about China or certain policies coming from the Chinese Communist Party,” Winters explained. “Some of these experts then take trips to China on the CCP dime.” Oftentimes the think tanks will help the CCP by simply not writing about a certain policy that the Chinese government feels is sensitive or portrays them in a bad light, Winters said.
Winters said she has found that the CCP tries to infiltrate low-level elected officials who look like rising stars. She pointed to California Congressman Eric Swalwell as an example of this. Axios reported that between 2011 and 2015, a suspected Chinese intelligence operative developed extensive ties with local and national politicians, including Swalwell, in what U.S. officials believe was a political intelligence operation run by China’s main civilian spy agency.
Former elected officials
Winters said the CCP works with K Street lobbyists who consult with China on U.S. policy and media opportunities. Those lobbyists are often former Members of Congress who frequently seek to do China’s bidding by arranging trips to China for other former elected officials whose favor they seek. “They’ve sponsored trips for former President Jimmy Carter, all the way down to a treasurer for the City of St. Louis,” added Winters. And as always, she noted, the CCP funds these lavish trips on the promise that upon return to the U.S., these individuals will give media interviews saying favorable things about China.
“The CCP has an unfettered resolve to infiltrate every American institution,” said Winters. “Without the ability to co-opt the American establishment by way of these former Members of Congress and lobbying groups, it would be a lot harder for them to infiltrate all the aspects of American life.”
Americans for Limited Government (ALG) is part of a national coalition to divest U.S. investments from Chinese companies that profit from slave and child labor and pose a threat to U.S. national security. In addition, the group led the fight to reform U.S. Chinese trade deals to make them more equitable to American workers. ALG President Rick Manning said Americans need to know that the CCP does not have the interest of the American worker at heart and in fact is actively seeking to undermine the United States. “The kind of reporting the National Pulse is doing is showing us just how badly co-opted many of our institutions are. This kind of reporting is helping Americans understand the CCP’s true threat.”
– – –
Catherine Mortensen is Vice President of Communications at Americans for Limited Government.