David R. Stilwell, the US Department of State Assistant Secretary Bureau Of East Asian And Pacific Affairs, has made remarks at a conference last October explaining how China’s United Front Work Department works to promote Chinese interests in Western democracies. According to his statement:
October 30, 2020 Beijing officials claim to seek “win-win” exchanges. They claim to practice “non-interference” in other countries’ affairs. In reality, however, their conduct is systematically predatory and hegemonic. The Chinese Communist Party wants control, or at least veto power, over public discourse and political decisions the world over. This is what guides its foreign interference activities – what Beijing calls “United Front work,” and we can better understand as political warfare. Xi Jinping calls United Front work a “magic weapon” of the Chinese Communist Party. Mao Zedong saw it the same way. How does the weapon work? I’ll mention a few visible examples. Chinese United Front interference in Australia has produced years of cascading news headlines. An up-and-coming senator was forced to resign over improper ties to a Beijing-linked donor. Numerous senior officials retired into jobs with entities controlled by Beijing. Advertising boycotts were organized against Chinese-language newspapers that won’t toe Beijing’s line. An intelligence chief warned of the “catastrophic harm” Australia is subject to as a result of “espionage, interference, sabotage and malicious insider activities.”
Read the statement here.
In November 2020, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) recommended a Newsweek report on the United Front Work Department, a little-known Beijing-based agency with branches around the world that seeks to implement the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) plans to set up and connect a large network of associations, business groups, friendship societies or cultural groups supportive of the CCP and to ensure that its overseas citizens, and others of ethnic Chinese descent, stay loyal. According to a US government report, United Front work promotes Beijing’s preferred global narrative, pressure individuals living in free and open societies to self-censor and avoid discussing issues unfavorable to the CCP and harass or undermine groups critical of Beijing’s policies.