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.