The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has made some direct and shocking attempts to meddle in the US mid-term polls. Its target? Anti-China candidates, obviously.
US Federal prosecutors charge five individuals
As per a press release issued by the US Department of Justice, US Federal Prosecutors have charged five agents with “stalking, harassing and spying US residents on behalf of the PRC Secret Police.” They have been accused of targeting Chinese nationals residing in Queens, New York, and other parts of the US.
The charged defendants participated in transnational repression schemes in a bid to silence critics of the People’s Republic of China residing in the US and abroad.
The press release further stated, “Fan “Frank” Liu and Matthew Ziburis were arrested yesterday in the Eastern District of New York, while Shujun Wang was arrested this morning in the Eastern District of New York. Their initial appearances are scheduled this afternoon in Brooklyn before U.S. Magistrate Judge James R. Cho. The other two defendants remain at large.”
Targeting anti-China candidates and US residents
Now, who was being targeted by the CCP agents? Reportedly, one of the co-conspirators sought to interfere with the federal polls by mounting a campaign against the US Congressional candidacy of an American military veteran who was the leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. As per Sputnik News Agency, the targeted candidate is a Democratic Congressional candidate in the state of New York, Xiong Yan.
In another conspiracy, the CCP agents were plotting the destruction of the artwork of a Chinese national residing in Los Angeles because it was critical of the Chinese government. The CCP agents even planted surveillance equipment in the artist’s workplace and vehicle, so that Chinese authorities could spy upon him.
U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York said, “The complaints unsealed today reveal the outrageous and dangerous lengths to which the PRC government’s secret police and these defendants have gone to attack the rule of law and freedom in New York City and elsewhere in the United States.”
Peace added, “As alleged, all three cases involve campaigns to silence, harass, discredit and spy on U.S. residents for simply exercising their freedom of speech. The United States will not tolerate blatantly illegal actions that target U.S. residents, on U.S. soil, and undermine our treasured American values and rights.”
Threat to US sovereignty
Speaking about the issue, Assistant Director Alan E. Kohler Jr. of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division said, “The Ministry of State Security is more than an intelligence collection agency. It executes the Chinese government’s efforts to limit free speech, attack dissidents, and preserve the power of the Communist Party.”
The FBI official added, “When it exports those actions overseas, it violates the fundamental sovereignty of the United States and becomes a national security threat. These indictments should serve as a stark warning to the MSS and all foreign intelligence agencies that their efforts at repression will not be tolerated within our borders.”