February 11, 1998
Excerpts From a Chapter in the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Report
ASHINGTON -- Following are excerpts from a chapter in the report compiled by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, which has been investigating campaign-finance issues. This chapter, "The China Connection: Summary of Committee's Findings Relating to Efforts of the People's Republic of China to Influence U.S. Policies and Elections" was furnished to The New York Times.
The committee has identified specific steps taken in furtherance of the plan.
Implementation of the plan has been handled by People's Republic of China Government officials and individuals enlisted to assist in the effort. Activities in furtherance of the plan have occurred both inside and outside of the United States.
Through the plan and related efforts, the People's Republic of China
Government aimed to increase China's influence in the United States. Some of the efforts were typical, appropriate steps foreign governments take to communicate their views on United States policy.
They included retaining lobbying firms; inviting more Congresspersons to visit China, and attempting to communicate Beijing's views through media channels in the United States.
However, other efforts appear illegal under United States law.
Although most discussion of People's Republic of China activities focused on Congress, the committee's investigation suggests that China's efforts involved the 1996 Presidential race and state elections as well.
The committee has received information that the Government of China may have allocated millions of dollars in 1996 alone to achieve its objectives.
The committee has learned of several activities China undertook to influence our political processes during the 1996 election cycle.
Some of these include:
¶A People's Republic of China Government official devised a seeding strategy, under which People's Republic of China officials would organize Chinese communities in the United States to encourage them to promote persons from their communities to run in certain state and local elections.
The intent behind the seeding program was to develop viable candidates sympathetic to the People's Republic of China for future Federal elections;
¶The Government of China established the Central Leading Group for United States Congressional Affairs to coordinate China's lobbying efforts in this country.
President Jiang Zemin approved the group's creation.
¶A United States agency received fragmentary reporting relating to China's efforts to influence the United States Presidential election.
The information is considered part of a criminal investigation and cannot be discussed with the Committee further.
¶People's Republic of China intelligence officials discussed increasing China's lobbying efforts in the United States and planned to raise millions of dollars to support those efforts. People's Republic of China officials met with one or more Chinese businessmen residing outside of mainland China to discuss raising the money and how it would be spent. . . .
It is clear that illegal foreign contributions were made to the Democratic National Committee and that these contributions were facilitated by individuals with extensive ties to the People's Republic of China.
The original sources of many of these contributions were bank accounts in the Greater China area.
It is also clear that well before the 1996 elections, officials at the highest levels of the Chinese Government approved of efforts to increase the People's Republic of China's involvement in the United States political process.
There are indications that the plan or parts of the plan and possibly related People's Republic of China activities were implemented covertly in this country.
The individuals who facilitated the contributions have either elected to take the Fifth Amendment or flee the country.
Beijing has denied the committee's request for assistance. . . .
While the committee still cannot determine conclusively whether the People's Republic of China funded, directed or encouraged the illegal contributions in question, all of the information related herein, taken together, constitutes strong circumstantial evidence that the People's Republic of China Government was involved.
In addition, there are indications that Chinese efforts in connection with the 1996 elections were undertaken or orchestrated, at least in part, by People's Republic of China intelligence agencies.
It is likely that the People's Republic of China used intermediaries, particularly with regard to political contributions. . . .
Moreover, the use of businesses and individuals as intermediaries is increasingly common among Chinese intelligence and military organizations.
Given the way the People's Republic of China exercises control over certain businesses and individuals, it hardly would be surprising to learn that the People's Republic of China directed overseas Chinese to contribute to particular parties or candidates.
In addition to furthering the goals of the People's Republic of China plan, such actions would seem within the capabilities of a government able to implement private espionage and intelligence-gathering activities.