- Shortly after Donald Trump became president, Chinese citizens linked to the Chinese government donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to re-elect Donald Trump in an attempt to get closer to the president, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
- The Journal identified four Chinese citizens with ties to the Chinese government who met with President Trump and other Republican lawmakers. Two of the men donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Trump fundraising campaign, The Journal said.
- Visit the Business Insider home page for more stories.
Chinese citizens linked to the Chinese government have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Trump’s re-election campaign in an attempt to get closer to the president, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
Efforts to gain political access came shortly after Trump took office, but have “stalled,” The Journal reported, given the US-China trade war and then the coronavirus.
The Journal conducted interviews, examined campaign finance records, Chinese government websites, and corporate presentations from the United States in its reports. The report said it was unclear whether any contributions or activities by Chinese citizens violated US law, although federal law prohibits political donations from foreign entities.
According to The Journal, several of the Chinese citizens mentioned in the report worked closely with the Chinese government and informed senior Chinese officials about their activities. He added that most of the political donations he identified were provided to a fundraising committee called Trump Victory and were among the largest donations made in 2017.
The Journal identified a man named David Tian Wang as “a pro-Trump organizer” who was a Chinese citizen with a US green card. Wang founded a group called Chinese Americans for Trump and was well connected with individuals and groups supported by the Chinese government, the outlet said.
Sources told The Journal that Wang was contacted by officials at the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles after the 2016 election and asked to help with Chinese lobbying efforts. He also donated $ 150,000 to Trump Victory, The Journal said, citing disclosures from the Federal Electoral Commission.
“It became a frequent presence in Republican circles,” said The Journal.
In May 2017, Wang attended a Republican National Committee leadership meeting in San Diego along with three men linked to the Chinese government, according to the report. At the meeting, Republican leaders “discussed campaign strategies and other issues,” the Journal said.
The Journal identified one of the men, Zhao Gang, as a researcher with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.
Another man, identified in the report as Tang Ben, is a Chinese-born American citizen who served as an executive member of the China Strategic Culture Promotion Association, a Beijing-based think tank led by a Chinese military general. retired. According to The Journal, Tang and his wife donated $ 300,000 to Trump Victory, which allowed him to attend a fundraiser at the Trump International Hotel in Washington in June 2017.
The third man, Wu Guangsheng, was identified by The Journal as “the president of a state-backed Chinese producer of military communications and satellite equipment.”
The Chinese government and the Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to the newspaper for comment. The Federal Election Commission declined to comment on the men’s attendance at the Republican meeting.
The White House did not immediately respond to Business Insider with information on whether Trump was aware of political contributions or whether Trump knew of donor ties to the Chinese government.
China has been accused of political espionage in other countries, including Australia, which passed laws against foreign interference in 2018. China has denied Australia’s claims.
China is not the first country accused of meddling in American politics in recent times. Intelligence officials warned lawmakers in the House of Representatives in February that Russia was working to get Trump reelected. Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have also been accused of trying to buy influence over Trump’s policies.