ChinaDecember 25 2023, 5:02 am

New York GOP Lawmakers’ Controversial Visit to China Raises Concerns

On 22 Decem­ber 2023, Nation­al Review report­ed that a group of New York State Repub­li­can leg­is­la­tors embarked on a ten-day vis­it to Chi­na as part of a “friend­ship del­e­ga­tion.” This group includ­ed New York assem­bly minor­i­ty leader William Bar­clay and state law­mak­ers Lester Chang, Sam Piroz­zo­lo, and Michael Novakhov. They were report­ed­ly accom­pa­nied by the Chi­nese People’s Asso­ci­a­tion for Friend­ship with For­eign Coun­tries, an orga­ni­za­tion the U.S. intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty has warned is involved in Beijing’s influ­ence oper­a­tions. The trip was fund­ed by the Amer­i­can Chi­nese Com­merce Asso­ci­a­tion (Hong Kong) and its pro-Bei­jing leader, John Chan. The del­e­ga­tion met with sev­er­al Chi­nese offi­cials and sub­sidiaries of the Unit­ed Front Work Depart­ment, known for advanc­ing Beijing’s glob­al agen­da. The vis­it, which includ­ed cul­tur­al and sight­see­ing activ­i­ties, is part of a broad­er trend of increased exchanges between U.S. and Chi­nese offi­cials fol­low­ing a recent meet­ing between Pres­i­dent Biden and Chi­nese leader Xi Jin­ping. This vis­it, how­ev­er, has raised con­cerns due to the involved orga­ni­za­tions’ alleged roles in influ­ence and espi­onage activ­i­ties with­in the U.S.


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