Joe Biden keeps appointing “czars.” One of them, the Asian policy czar, is Kurt Campbell.
Campbell was a former Obama administration official and, more recently, board vice chairman of the U.S.-China Strong Foundation. What’s that? According to Alana Goodman, who cites State and Justice Department records, it’s “ostensibly a nonprofit group that promotes student language exchanges with Beijing but whose leaders included prominent members of the Chinese government’s overseas propaganda fronts.”
The foundation has promoted the Chinese army and China’s Belt and Road Initiative—deemed a national security threat by U.S. officials. It has also partnered with the Confucius Institute U.S. Center, an educational nonprofit organization that the State Department designated as a foreign mission last summer, citing its promotion of Beijing’s propaganda efforts to academics across the world.
We have written about the noxious Confucius Institute in posts like this one.
In August 2017, the U.S.-China Strong Foundation appeared to celebrate the founding of the People’s Liberation Army on its Twitter account, writing, “Today is the 90th anniversary of the founding of China’s PLA!” and urging followers to read about a commemorating address by President Xi. The group also posted multiple favorable Twitter messages about China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a global infrastructure program that U.S. officials have decried as a national security risk.
There’s plenty more in Goodman’s report and plenty to support the suspicion that, to quote intelligence analysis Anders Corr, “the U.S.-China Strong Foundation could be a [Chinese Communist Party] front group, or so heavily influenced by the CCP as to be tantamount to a front group.”
Campbell isn’t the only China sympathizer Biden has selected for a key foreign policy post. There’s also Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who has been nominated to serve as U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
In a column for the Washington Post, Josh Rogan pointed to past remarks by Thomas-Greenfield on China, some of which she delivered at a Chinese Communist Party-funded Confucius Institute. According to Rogan:
She touted Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative and noted China’s vast expansion into all aspects of African economic and even cultural life. She criticized the Trump administration for treating Africa as a battleground for great power competition. She said the United States and China are not in a cold war. . .Thomas-Greenfield also seemed to excuse Beijing’s debt-trap diplomacy in Africa.
Is Thomas-Greenfield simply naive about China? Maybe. She said she didn’t realize the significance of speaking at the CCP-backed Confucius Institute. That’s not easy to believe, considering her extensive experience in foreign policy, including nearly four years as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during the Obama administration.
In any case, her pro-China remarks surely reflected her views. Ignorance would be no excuse for them.
Of the two officials discussed above whom Biden is empowering, however, Campbell is the more problematic. After all, he will be directly tasked with China policy. And he hasn’t just participated in a Confucius Institute event, he was on the board of a Confucius Institute partner that appears to have been heavily influenced by the CCP.
But then, Biden himself, or at a minimum close members of his family, was enriched by China. So why should we be surprised when he appoints China sympathizers to key posts in his administration?
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