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Grassley Questions DOJ on Biden Family Compliance with FARA

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On Monday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, to evaluate whether Hunter and James Biden should have registered as foreign agents for their business arrangements with the Chinese government-back energy company CEFC.

In the letter to Barr, Grassley is asking for details on what steps, if any, the Justice Department has taken to verify whether the Bidens complied with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

“FARA is an important statute that was designed not to prohibit activity but rather to require individuals to register with the DOJ if they are acting as an agent of a foreign government or enterprise to influence U.S. policy or public opinion. This helps ensure transparency and accountability in the public policy arena,” Grassley wrote.

Grassley noted that Ye Jianming, founder of CEFC, and Hunter Biden “formed a lucrative financial relationship that resulted in Hunter Biden receiving millions of dollars” while Ye and CEFC gained access to lucrative U.S. opportunities.

“The actions by Hunter Biden and James Biden on behalf of CEFC, Ye Jianming, and other officers connected to CEFC, potentially make them agents of the Chinese government,” Grassley wrote.

This is not Grassley’s first time raising concerns over the Justice Department’s FARA enforcement. In fact,

“Proper enforcement of, and compliance with, FARA remains a top priority of mine as foreign governments and enterprises continue to use agents within the United States as conduits to lobby for policy changes and engage in public relations activity for the benefit of foreign principals.”

You can follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world

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China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.

Key findings of the report are below.

“Persuaded to return”

According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.

Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.

The Nine Forbidden Countries

China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.

Conclusion

According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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