Sometimes it seems like the actions of Chinese intelligence in the United States are invisible and clandestine. Other times, it appears that they are right there for everyone to see in the light of day. Such is the appearance at least of California Representative Judy Chu’s efforts to roll back Trump era efforts to get some control over rampant CCP espionage in this country.
Under Trump, the Department of Justice launched something called the China Initiative. It was an effort, after years of neglect, to push back on the looting of our national security secrets and critical intellectual property by Chinese intelligence operatives. The scale of that Chinese effort had reached the point where it threatened to change the balance of power and give Beijing a decisive military advantage.
Judy Chu wants to end the China Initiative. She is leading the charge on Capitol Hill to brand the DOJ and the FBI as racist and xenophobic and to end the crackdown on Chinese spies. Chu’s mantra is that the China Initiative is analogous to the internment of Japanese during the Second World War, another “Red Scare” and unjustified response to an exaggerated threat.
Maybe Chu genuinely believes all that. Maybe something very different is afoot.
Judy Chu was in contact with and photographed in the company of the same Chinese spy, Fang Fang, who famously slept with and cultivated Congressman Eric Swalwell. Fang was part of a wide-ranging Chinese effort to cultivate Democratic politicians in the Bay area. Fang appears to have taken the same kinds of efforts on behalf of Chu as she did for Swalwell. Fang helped organize a 2012 town hall for Rep. Judy Chu.
Chu has a history of affiliation with Communist organizations. vIn the 1980’s she was a leader of a group called the Federation for Progress, which was a front organization for the Communist Workers Party. Communist Workers Party was a U.S.-based Maoist political organization. The group published an internal bulletin called The Expert Red, a theoretical journal called The Eighties, and a near-weekly newspaper called Workers Viewpoint. The group changed its name to the New Democratic Movement in 1985.
Chu has made a number of trips to China. Her first trip was in 1990 when relations were only just developing between Beijing and Washington. At the time she was a small-town mayor. She visited China again in 1994 and 1999 as a city councilwoman.
In 2011 Chu led a congressional delegation to Beijing. She was invited to travel to China by the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs. After visiting Beijing Chu also traveled to east China’s Jiangsu Province, the financial hub of Shanghai, and south China’s Guangdong Province.
The last leg of Judy Chu’s trip was a visit to her ancestral home of Jiangmen, Guangdong province.
“Going to my home village and the Jiangmen museum of overseas Chinese it exemplified so greatly the hardships of the Chinese experience when they went abroad and had been treated so poorly by the immigration officials and experienced such hardships as they were trying to settle in America.”
“I am a daughter of China, now I am coming home. This most incredible eight days visit has made me better understand what China is about. I had a memorable visit to my home village of Jiangmen. I am truly coming home.”Judy Chu
Chu got her start in politics in Monterey Park, California. She was, as noted above, at various points either on the town council or mayor. Monterey Park has been for decades essentially the epicenter of Chinese Communist Party efforts to coopt and recruit up-and-coming American politicians to work on their behalf and spread Chinese influence. It was precisely when Chu was taking her first steps on her political career that she began to travel to China and meet with Chinese officials there. It should be noted as well that Fang Fang, Swalwell’s paramour, targeted two Midwest mayors for recruitment during her time in the United States.
Betty Tom Chu, mayor of Monterey Park from 2003 – 2012, has noted that during her time in office the CCP made a very strong effort to infiltrate California politics on a local level. She said, “Not only did the CCP supporters join as leaders and organizers of events in Monterey Park and the San Gabriel Valley area, but we had an alleged CCP spy living amongst us, Katrina Leung, who was indicted for providing the Chinese Communist government with information and documents on nuclear, military and political issues.”
Interestingly, while Congresswoman Chu claims to be a great advocate of human rights she refrains completely from any criticism of the Chinese Communist Party. She has remained silent on Hong Kong. She has neither sponsored nor co-sponsored legislation critical of Beijing’s human rights abuses.
As noted by DNI John Ratcliffe in December 2020, China is engaged in a “massive influence campaign” targeting U.S. lawmakers. The Swalwell case was not an aberration. It was part of a much bigger and still ongoing Chinese effort.
“Our intelligence shows that Beijing regularly directs this type of influence operation in the U.S,” Ratcliffe said. “To address these threats and more, I have shifted resources inside the $85 billion annual intelligence budget to increase the focus on China.”
Unfortunately, Ratcliffe is gone. Judy Chu is still in office, and she is working overtime to undo the progress he made. Maybe she is doing that because she is simply naïve and misguided.
Maybe there is something more sinister at work.