Influential DC Media Outlet Teams Up With Think Tank Linked To Chinese Intelligence

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Ailan Evans Deputy Editor
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Semafor, the company behind influential newsletters popular among policymakers in Washington, D.C., has partnered with a think tank with links to an intelligence service administered by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The news outlet announced on its website that it would be launching a new initiative, “China and Global Business,” that aims to promote economic discussions between Chinese and U.S. leaders, with events scheduled in New York City and Beijing. However, Semafor is undertaking the initiative in partnership with the Center for China and Globalization (CCG), a think tank with links to a Chinese influence and intelligence organization, according to multiple intelligence experts and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC).

CCG is led by Wang Huiyao, who also serves as an adviser to the United Front Work Department (UFWD) and serves in leadership positions with several groups under the UFWD umbrella, according to multiple intelligence experts and the USCC. The UFWD has been identified by government agencies, legislative bodies and experts as a central organ of CCP influence efforts, and experts also say UFWD works in concert with Chinese intelligence operatives.

In addition, Wang is reportedly affiliated with organizations directly linked to the CCP. (RELATED: Chinese Company Reportedly Linked To Genocide Is Sponsoring Washington’s Most Influential Newsletters)

“Dr. Wang is also the standing director of the UFWD China Overseas Friendship Association and a member of its advisory council, and he is a Central Committee member and Economic Committee Deputy Director of the Jiusan Society, a non-communist political party subordinate to the CCP via the CPPCC,” the USCC report reads. “He is also the vice-chair of the United Front organization Western Returned Scholars Association—members of which founded the CCG— and director of its Expert Committee as well as an adviser to the CPPCC’s Beijing Committee.”

The “China and Global Business” initiative held its first meeting, between members of its China Advisory Board and Global Advisory Board, in February, and will hold a June event in New York City along with an October event in Beijing. The initiative aims to promote discussion between Chinese and U.S. business leaders “amid growing calls in the US for economic ‘decoupling’ from China.”

Semafor’s “China and Global Business” China Advisory Board also includes individuals affiliated with the CCP and serving in UFWD leadership positions.

Gao Yunlong, chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, was elected “vice-chairperson” of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in 2018. The CPPCC is a key organ of the CCP and is central to UFWD’s operations, according to the USCC.

The board also includes Zhou Xiaochuan, who previously served on the party committee for China’s central bank, and Cui Tiankai, former Chinese ambassador to the U.S. and enthusiastic supporter of the CCP.

Moreover, Chinese tech giant Alibaba sponsors many of Semafor’s newsletters, and sponsored a Semafor event featuring two members of Congress earlier this year. Alibaba is reportedly implicated in China’s ongoing repression of the Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang province through its funding of Megvii and SenseTime, two facial recognition firms blacklisted by the U.S. for their use against the Uyghurs.

Semafor did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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