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Bush Family NGO Accepts $5 Million From Chinese Influence Group

July 8th, 2021 14:04

Last month, US media report­ed that a non­prof­it affil­i­at­ed with the late for­mer US Pres­i­dent George H.W. Bush agreed to accept $5 mil­lion from a pol­i­cy group with close ties to Chi­nese gov­ern­ment offi­cials. Accord­ing to an Axios report:

June 5, 2021 A non­prof­it affil­i­at­ed with the late for­mer Pres­i­dent George H.W. Bush agreed to accept $5 mil­lion from a pol­i­cy group at the cen­ter of Chi­na’s U.S. influ­ence efforts, Axios has learned. […] Axios obtained a writ­ten agree­ment that spells out the details of a $5 mil­lion grant from the Chi­na-Unit­ed States Exchange Foun­da­tion to the Bush Chi­na Foun­da­tion, estab­lished in 2017 with the for­mer pres­i­den­t’s bless­ing. CUSEF lead­er­ship has close ties to Chi­nese gov­ern­ment offi­cials, and the group has a rep­u­ta­tion as an arm of Bejing’s polit­i­cal influ­ence oper­a­tion. It pro­vid­ed a sig­nif­i­cant share of the funds for the Bush group’s efforts to improve Sino-Amer­i­can relations.

Read the rest here.

The Axios arti­cle details the links between the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and the Chi­na-Unit­ed States Exchange Foun­da­tion (CUSEF):

  • The CUSEF head is also the vice-chair of a Bei­jing-based advi­so­ry body that pro­motes the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty’s polit­i­cal aims, chaired by a Polit­buro offi­cial who plays a lead­ing role in Bei­jing’s “unit­ed front” glob­al influ­ence campaign.
  • CUSEF has dis­closed in U.S. fil­ings that it paid for lob­by­ing cam­paigns to “influ­ence key con­stituen­cies” in the U.S. regard­ing “Chi­na’s true inten­tions and efforts in Tibet,” includ­ing an analy­sis of how U.S. high school text­books por­tray Tibet.
  • In 2018, two Texas Repub­li­can con­gress­men alleged that CUSEF was one of a num­ber of Bei­jing-affil­i­at­ed orga­ni­za­tions “intend­ed to spread Chi­na’s polit­i­cal agenda.”

Recent GIOR cov­er­age of China’s influ­ence oper­a­tions in the US has included:

  • In June, we report­ed that Chi­na hired 12 for­mer mem­bers of Con­gress to lob­by for the country.
  • In May, we report­ed that China’s for­eign influ­ence oper­a­tion bud­get in the US is main­ly cen­tered on tele­vi­sion broad­cast­ing and oth­er media activities.
  • In May, we report­ed that Chi­na became the top spender on for­eign influ­ence oper­a­tions in the US, with Chi­nese for­eign agent spend­ing sky­rock­et­ing from just over $10 mil­lion in 2016 to near­ly $64 mil­lion in 2020.