President Biden’s nominee to run the CIA, William Burns, is the head of a think tank that has routinely received large donations from groups linked to the Chinese Communist Party.
Burns serves as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and he has invited close to a dozen congressional staffers on a trip to China to meet with communist party operatives and leaders of Chinese front groups.
Burns, who has served in his position at Carnegie for six years, also welcomed Chinese businessman Zhang Yichen, CEO of CITIC Consulting, to join the think tank’s board of trustees.
“We are very fortunate to have Zhang Yichen on our board,” Burns said at the time.
Zhang is linked to two organizations with Chinese Communist Party ties, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the Center for China and Globalization.
“CPPCC is an advisory group for the Chinese Communist Party that is affiliated with China’s united front system, which promotes Chinese government initiatives abroad,” the Daily Caller reported.
Zhang’s firm gave Carnegie a donation of between $500,000 and $999,000 between 2017 and 2018. In the 2020 fiscal year, the firm made donations to the think tank between $250,000 and $549,999.
Carnegie also received donations between $100,000 and $249,999 from China-United States Exchange Foundation, an organization the Washington, D.C.,-based think tank Jamestown Foundation called “a major player in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s organizational apparatus for conducting united front work in the United States.”
According to a September Jamestown Foundation report, the China-United States Exchange Foundation engages in lobbying efforts that “allows it to play a valuable role in Beijing’s efforts to sway public opinion and build influence in America.”
Zhang’s donations helped Carnegie fund the Beijing-based Carnegie-Tsinghua Center, which partners with one of China’s top technological universities, Tsinghua University.
“His funding does not underwrite research projects or support work in the United States,” a Carnegie spokesperson said of Zhang’s financial contributions in a statement to the Daily Caller.
The report comes as Biden faces questions about his willingness to confront China on issues ranging from economic espionage to trade, policies that former President Donald Trump’s administration aggressively confronted China on.
Biden has indicated he may take a softer approach to China, saying he would like to avoid conflict with the country.
“He’s very bright. He’s very tough. He doesn’t have, and I don’t mean this as a criticism, just the reality, he doesn’t have a democratic ‘small D’ bone in his body,” Biden said of Chinese President Xi Jinping during a Sunday CBS interview.
“The question is, I’ve said to him all along, that we need not have a conflict,” Biden continued. “But there’s gonna be extreme competition. And I’m not going to do it the way he knows. And that’s because he’s sending signals as well. I’m not gonna do it the way Trump did. We’re gonna focus on international rules of the road.”
Author: Michael Lee
Source: Washington Examiner: Biden pick to head CIA runs think tank that took millions from organizations linked to CCP