X

Think Tank Report Uncovers Chinese Communist Party Networks in French Politics

June 14th, 2022 15:04

Sinop­sis, a Czech web­site cov­er­ing Chi­nese pol­i­tics, pub­lished a report in March uncov­er­ing Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty (CCP) net­works in French pol­i­tics. The report pays par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to the case of French par­lia­men­tary mem­ber Buon Tan and his links to sev­er­al orga­ni­za­tions con­trolled by the CCP’s unit­ed front sys­tem, argu­ing that it is like­ly that more of the CCP’s reach into French pol­i­tics remains to be uncov­ered. Accord­ing to the Sinop­sis report:

March 2, 2022 French par­lia­men­tar­i­ans’ links to the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party’s over­seas in- flu­ence agen­cies have escaped scruti­ny. Rep­re­sent­ing Pres­i­dent Macron’s par­ty, Buon Tan holds posts in key par­lia­men­tary com­mis­sions relat­ed to Chi­na while tak­ing CCP-aligned posi­tions on issues such as Huawei and the geno­cide against Uyghurs. At the same time, Tan has been a mem­ber of sev­er­al organ­i­sa­tions con- trolled by the CCP’s unit­ed front sys­tem and main­tains con­tacts with the Party’s Inter­na­tion­al Liai­son Depart­ment. Asso­ci­a­tions with these enti­ties do not demon- strate wrong­do­ing, but their role in the CCP’s efforts to covert­ly influ­ence for­eign politi­cians is well doc­u­ment­ed. As this paper rep­re­sents the first detailed case study of such activ­i­ties in France, it is like­ly that more of the CCP’s reach into French pol­i­tics remains to be uncovered.

Read the full report here.

The Unit­ed Front Work Depart­ment is a lit­tle-known Bei­jing-based agency with branch­es world­wide. It seeks to estab­lish an exten­sive net­work of asso­ci­a­tions, busi­ness groups, friend­ship soci­eties, or cul­tur­al groups sup­port­ive of the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty (CCP) and to ensure the loy­al­ty of its over­seas cit­i­zens and oth­ers of eth­nic Chi­nese descent. Accord­ing to a US gov­ern­ment report, Unit­ed Front work pro­motes Beijing’s pre­ferred glob­al nar­ra­tive, pres­sures indi­vid­u­als liv­ing in free soci­eties to self-cen­sor and avoid dis­cussing issues unfa­vor­able to the CCP, and harass­es or under­mines groups crit­i­cal of Beijing’s policies.

In August 2021, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report pub­lished an inves­ti­ga­tion into Chi­nese influ­ence oper­a­tions tar­get­ing Euro­pean elite cir­cles in which we iden­ti­fied the France Chi­na Foun­da­tion as the pri­ma­ry vehi­cle for elite cap­ture in France:

August 29, 2021 In France, the France Chi­na Foun­da­tion was found­ed in 2012 to “encour­age the devel­op­ment of rela­tion­ships between French and Chi­nese lead­ers, to stim­u­late their inter­est in the oth­er coun­try and to inspire them to set up joint projects.” The foun­da­tion claims to “rely on polit­i­cal and insti­tu­tion­al sup­port” and gath­ers high-pro­file politi­cians and busi­ness­peo­ple from France and Chi­na, includ­ing sev­er­al peo­ple linked to the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and defense cir­cles such as financier Allen Guo, con­sul­tant Casey Kang, and busi­ness mag­nate Jack Ma. One of the foundation’s mem­bers, for­mer French Prime Min­is­ter Jean-Pierre Raf­farin, already open­ly pro­motes China’s attempt­ed pow­er grab in Europa.

Read the rest here.