'CCP has tentacles': Congressman claims ignorance of registered Chinese agent

 May 14, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

It was a Chinese-owned newspaper that was registered as a foreign agent, and Rep. Tom Suozzi, a New York Democrat, paid thousands of dollars for "advertising."

And now the congressman is claiming ignorance about the ownership and allegiances of the publication.

The Washington Examiner reported Suozzi now is backtracking on his connections to a subsidiary of Sing Tao U.S., to which his campaign delivered $7,200.

"If they are in any way affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party, they’ll never get anything from us again," he claimed in the report. "The CCP has tentacles trying to influence the distribution of information and disinformation throughout our society. There are lesser-known examples like this, and [China] has a very sophisticated effort."

Actually, Suozzi is on a congressional caucus that now is raising concerns over China's persecution of religious minorities, the Uyghur ethnic minority specifically.

The Examiner had asked him about the money paid to the Chinese group that previously was forced to register as a foreign agent for its "political activity," the report said.

"The newspaper also reportedly shares ties to the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department, which, according to the U.S. government, coordinates the party’s intelligence gathering and influence operations overseas," the Examiner reported.

He's claimed the United States has a duty to counter Beijing’s efforts to grow its influence, but reached by the Examiner, he said he didn't know about the connections involving Sing Tao.

"If I’m a congressman and I didn’t know about it, think about what’s happening to regular citizens on a regular basis,” he said.

Suozzi's actions now, however, warrant review, according to Mike LiPetri, the Republican nominee expected to oppose Suozzi in New York's 3rd District this fall.

"NY-03 deserves a congressman who will stand up to China and its human rights violations, not line their communist pockets with cash that fuels their infiltration and influence-peddling schemes," LiPetri said in a statement to the publication.

The report said the connections of Sing Tao are bad: "Sing Tao U.S. is affiliated with a Hong Kong-based outlet said to have maintained leaders on China’s National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a top CCP advisory body. Over half of Sing Tao’s content in 2021 was purchased by a company in southeastern China, DOJ filings show."

The report noted that the Suozzi campaign deals with Sing Tao weren't the only similar payments.

The report noted that document revealed a few months ago showed eight other lawmakers paid $41,500 to Sing Tao, including payments from Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y.

Richard Goldberg, of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said that American campaigns would be wise to address such entities, and "“understand the risks associated with subsidizing or otherwise partnering with foreign government-controlled entities."

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