China’s growing espionage and propaganda threat IN the U.S.: Congress warns America has little grasp at how deep the Communist Party’s influence has infiltrated communities across the nation
- China spends billions on the united front system each year and has a deep operation within the US
published by MORGAN PHILLIPS 27 November 2023
The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) presence on American soil has already revealed itself in the network of secret police stations in major cities and the ‘Little Red Classrooms’ in kindergartens.
Now, members of the bipartisan House China Select Committee have released a memo detailing how the U.S. has failed to combat Beijing‘s infiltration – and it could get worse.
The threat comes from the united front, a political strategy Xi Jinping has called his ‘magic weapon’.
It’s the plan the CCP uses to influence beyond its circle without the information appearing to come directly from the Chinese government.
China spends billions on the united front system each year. United front is affiliated with some 600 groups in the U.S., according to a 2020 Newsweek report, that are all in regular touch with the CCP.
China’s President Xi Jinping is pictured. Concerns are growing over his country’s funding of America’s public schools
The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) presence on American soil has already revealed itself in the network of secret police stations in major cities and the ‘Little Red Classrooms’ in kindergartens
‘United front work damages U.S. interests through legal and illegal technology transfer, surveillance of Chinese diaspora communities, promotion of favorable narratives about the PRC through ostensibly independent voices, and the neutralization or harassment of critics of the CCP,’ the new report found.
‘The United States has no direct analogue, and the U.S. Government has struggled to counter united front work with traditional counterintelligence, law enforcement, and diplomatic tools,’ it warned.
The background memo is meant to guide Americans to remain vigilant if they are targeted by China’s influence operations.
‘Through its united front work strategy, which Xi Jinping has called a ‘magic weapon,’ the Chinese Communist Party uses every tool at its disposal, whether legal or illicit, to influence the American people and interfere in democratic societies,’ Chairman Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., said in a statement.
‘An important, but little understood, aspect of the Chinese Communist Party’s misinformation, propaganda, and influence efforts both in the PRC and abroad is the CCP’s united front system. This background memo provides information about united front activities, and can be a potentially helpful guide in addressing and countering them,’ added ranking member Rep. Raja Khrishnamoorthi, D-Calif.
President Joe Biden met with Chinese Leader Xi Jinping two weeks ago as concerns soar over issues including Taiwan, Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea sanctions, heightened espionage, trade and human rights.
The goal of united front work is to help China take over Taiwan and establish a new global order that revolves around CCP values and interests.
At least seven contracts are still active in Texas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington
The United Front Work Department (UFWD), which reports to the CCP, controls ostensibly non-governmental groups like academic institutions, non-profits and media. It also oversees groups that operate within the U.S.: National Association for China’s Peaceful Reunification, which operates in the Washington, DC, area and Alliance for China’s Peaceful Reunification, USA.
The UFWD also ‘played a central role in formulating, implementing, and defending policies to ‘Sinicize’ China’s ethnic minorities, including the ongoing genocide of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang,’ according to the memo.
The CCP uses united front affiliated groups to monitor and track Uyghurs and mobilize propaganda to counter criticism of its treatment of the Muslim minority group.
The memo went on: ‘In addition to promoting narratives favorable to the CCP abroad, the UFWD collects intelligence, exerts control over overseas Chinese-language media outlets, seeks to influence Chinese diaspora groups, facilitates illicit technology transfer, and interferes in politics in other countries, including by co-opting and influencing foreign academic, political, and business elites.
‘The networks built by the UFWD are often viewed as prime operating grounds by the PRC’s intelligence agencies, which seek to draw on members of united front organizations to support espionage and influence operations,’ the report went on.
DailyMail.com has identified the locations of three Chinese ‘community centers’ in the US, including the Chinese American Association in San Francisco (above), suspected by an NGO of being run by a branch of the Chinese Communist Party known to ‘silence’ its critics
The memo warned united front work focuses on targeting key groups to win over liasons to spew its messages: members of China’s eight minor parties, those without political affiliation, non-CCP intellectuals, ethnic minorities, religious leaders, business leaders and ethnic Chinese living abroad.
It called to mind earlier this year when the FBI arrested two Chinese operatives on suspicion of running an illegal police station in downtown Manhattan to spy on and harass dissidents on US soil.
In addition, 44 Chinese nationals were charged by federal prosecutors with waging a campaign of surveillance and harassment against dissidents living in the US.
As many as six illegal Chinese police stations were operating within the U.S. as of earlier this year, according to a report from advocacy group Safeguard Defenders.
After the Chinese police stations were uncovered, a DailyMail.com report revealed Chinese ‘community centers’ in San Francisco, Nebraska and Houston were suspected to be working in coordination with the CCP.
In recent months the FBI’s counterintelligence task forces have intensified their hunt for Chinese efforts to recruit spies within the U.S. The CIA, meanwhile, is believed to be focusing on Xi and finding out what his ambitions are with Taiwan.
The Chinese Civic Center in Houston also has links to Beijing, DailyMail.com has found
Over the summer a report by advocacy group Parents Defending Education revealed the CCP has pumped some $17 million into K-12 schools throughout the U.S.
The close coordination between the CCP and U.S. schools to establish Confucius Classrooms has historically included 143 school districts in 34 states and Washington, D.C. At least seven contracts are still active in Texas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington.
It also states that the CCP has ‘ties to school districts near 20 U.S. military bases’ and three of the nation’s top science and technology high schools have been infiltrated.