Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director nominee William Burns testifies before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee (SSC) at the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 24, 2021. Intelligence Committee (SCI) appointment hearing in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
The founder of a peripheral Chinese Communist Party unificationist group appears at the podium of a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace event in May 2016. He was there to make a high-profile pro-communist argument in the midst of the decades-long debate over control of the South China Sea.
According to the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF), the speech was given by the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation (CUSEF). The speech was delivered by the founding president of the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), Tung Jianhua. He was invited to speak more than 14 months after William Burns took over as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. After taking office as president, Biden nominated Burns to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
A report shows that the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) is essentially the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front in the United States, and is one of the key entities that has funded the Communist Party’s lobbying activities in the United States over the past decade.
The timing of Dong’s speech at Carnegie appears to conflict with Burns’ testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday (Feb. 24). In his testimony, Burns said he severed ties between Carnegie and the China-United States Exchange Foundation shortly after taking over as Carnegie’s president in March 2015.
Billionaire Tung Chee-hwa, a former chief executive of Hong Kong, speaks at Carnegie headquarters in Washington, D.C., on May 11, 2016. “The Daily Caller News Foundation reported that the China-United States Exchange Foundation donated between $200,000 and $500,000 to Carnegie between 2015 and 2017.
In his testimony Wednesday, Burns downplayed the relationship between Carnegie and the China-United States Exchange Foundation. But he also acknowledged that the Hong Kong-based group was used by the Chinese Communist Party “to sway public opinion and build influence.”
In response to written questions released prior to the hearing, he also acknowledged that the CCP uses the China-US Exchange Foundation as part of a “government-wide strategy …… to try to influence (U.S.) political, economic and cultural development for the benefit of the CCP. for the benefit of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Burns told Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) that he cut ties with the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation because he was “increasingly concerned about the expanding influence of China (the Communist Party). Rubio cited details reported this month by the Daily Caller News Foundation for his questions.
Burns said Carnegie then launched an initiative to counter foreign influence operations, targeting the Chinese Communist Party and Russia.
It is not known whether Tung coordinated his speech with the Chinese Communist Party, but he publicly expressed pro-Beijing views during a speech at Carnegie, one of the world’s most influential foreign policy think tanks.
Tung spoke at length about the South China Sea, a geopolitical flashpoint that has long been at the center of territorial disputes between China, Taiwan, Vietnam and other Asian countries.
At the Time, an international arbitration tribunal in The Hague was considering the legal ownership of islands in the South China Sea.
In July 2016, Reuters and CNBC reported that Beijing was engaged in “propaganda overdrive.
According to an announcement on Carnegie’s website, Dong’s speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will not be recorded. Carnegie Vice President Douglas Paal moderated a discussion after the speech.
According to a prepared speech posted on the Foundation’s website, Tung called for peaceful dialogue between the United States and China and said the Chinese Communist Party would not launch aggression in the South China Sea.
Dong’s prepared remarks read, “I hope that it is clear from the above that China’s (CCP) activities in the South China Sea are not aggressive or assertive, but rather restrained, and are promoting peace and common prosperity.”
Tung asserted that Vietnam and the Philippines have been “aggressive” in their actions during the decades-long standoff, while China has “urged restraint.”
He also praised the Communist Party’s leadership and asserted that Beijing is “modernizing its military to deter foreign aggression against China.”
It was not immediately clear if Burns attended Dong’s speech. It is also unclear when Burns began severing ties with the China-United States Exchange Foundation during his tenure at Carnegie, although the think tank maintained ties with the Chinese organization for at least two years after Burns took over as president.
Carnegie’s biography of Tung mentions that he was the founding chairman of the China-United States Exchange Foundation and is the current vice chairman of the Chinese Communist Party’s Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. The CPPCC is an advisory committee to the Communist Party and is considered the center of the Communist Party’s united front system.
In May 2017, Tung visited the Tsinghua-Carnegie Center for Global Policy (Carnegie-Tsinghua Center). This is Carnegie’s outpost in Beijing.
The China-U.S. Exchange Foundation donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to Carnegie in fiscal year 2015 and the same amount between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017, according to an archived version of the think tank’s website.
Chinese Communist Party financial executive Zhang Yichin, who is also a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, joined Carnegie as a trustee in October 2016.
Zhang has also donated between $750,000 and $1.5 million to Carnegie since 2016. Burns praised Chang’s position on the board in a 2016 statement.
Overall, Burns was highly critical of the Chinese Communist government in his testimony Wednesday and agreed with Republicans that the China-United States Exchange Foundation acts as an agent of Communist influence in China.
He also called the Communist government a “hostile authoritarian” that has strengthened its ability to “steal intellectual property, suppress its own people, bully its neighbors, expand its global influence, and build influence in American society.
He also said the Communist Party exerts its influence on many fronts by mobilizing and directing the activities of businesses, NGOs and members of the Chinese community to “disseminate their views through multiple channels.
A spokeswoman for Carnegie reiterated Burns’ comments at Wednesday’s hearing, but did not answer questions about when the think tank decided to cut ties with the China-US Exchange Foundation.
The spokesman emphasized, “As Ambassador Burns noted at yesterday’s hearing, he maintained the partnership between the China-United States Exchange Foundation and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and ended it shortly after he became president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. relationship.”