Many legislators are paid to lobby corporations and other special interests. This could cause them to advocate for policies that would harm America’s long-term interests. Schweizer’s book however shows that many ex-commissioner and committee chairs and rank-and-file members lobby for Chinese intelligence, military-linked businesses, and Chinese intelligence.
These 23 former members of Congress, many of whom are Republicans, have lobbied for Chinese intelligence-linked companies or military companies.
Boehner started advocating for China shortly after he was elected Speaker.
2011 was a busy one for Congress, as they prepared to pass the Currency Exchange Oversight Reform Act. This bill would make China accountable for artificially maintaining its currency low, and allow it to increase its exports.
China hired Squire Patton Boggs (SPB) for $35,000 per month to block the bill.
SPB was officially registered in Washington, DC, as a foreign agent of the Chinese Embassy. This was after decades of strong relationships with the Chinese government.
The Senate approved the bill to control Chinese currency manipulation with a vote of 63 votes to 35. Strong bipartisan support backed it.
Boehner refused permission for the bill to be brought before the House floor to vote, despite the fact it was supported by half the House Republican Conference and an “overwhelming” number of Democrats.
Boehner said that it was very risky to push legislation through Congress in order to force someone to fix the currency’s value.
He suggested that the bill could cause a trade war.
Schweizer stated it was “necessary for Boehner” to join SPB as a “strategic adviser” to American and foreign clients in 2015.
Schweizer claims that SPB assisted Beijing in navigating through “issues which could threaten their interests.” These included guidances on defense appropriations, the 2020 general election, American policies on Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well trade and sanctions legislation.
Boehner also offered advice to Chinese government-linked businesses such as ChemChina, China Railway Stock Corporation, and Huawei.
Chinese state media frequently quote SPB lawyers. They are often critical of American trade and technology restrictions that have been placed on Chinese companies working in America.
SPB maintains strong relationships with the highest echelons of the Chinese government. Nick Chan, SPB’s senior partner in China is also a member of the NPC.
SPB explained recently that the NPC was the highest organ of power within the People’s Republic of China.
This Chinese tech company also creates technology for military applications. It is closely integrated with China’s Ministry of Public Security and People’s Liberation Army, as well as China’s Ministry of Public Security.
Tencent hired Royce, a former Chairman of, House Foreign Affairs Committee to lobby for the federal government. Tencent paid $330,000 in 2020 to its firm.
Senate Majority leader Trent Lott, Senator John Breaux (D–LA), Rep. Jeff Denham, and Rep. Bart Gordon all represent Republicans.
ByteDance is the creator of Tik Tok. This social media phenomenon has been widely criticized for its privacy and censorship practices, as well as its close ties to China.
Schweizer pointed out that former employees had complained about how the company’s content moderating practices were heavily “influenced” in Beijing.
Breaux once stated that his vote in Senate wasn’t up for sale, but was “available for rent.” ”
These legislators lobby ZTE Corporation (a military-linked Chinese telecommunications firm). Coleman received $2.94million for his representation of the company in 2019.
Huawei is another Chinese telecom company that has ties to China’s military.
Despite their political differences, Stearns & Bonker work together for the lobbying firm APCO Worldwide. They also work on contract lobbying for COSCO (an affiliate of the People’s Liberation Army).
Kingston served as a member of the House from 1993 to 2015. He also served as vice-chairman of the House Republican Conference between 2002 and 2006. The Georgia Republican is also a long-standing member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
Kingston has lobbied for ChemChina despite being called a “guardian business” by his peers.
Vitter and Moffett received $70,000 per month from Hikvision, a Chinese surveillance company largely owned by a government-controlled conglomerate known as the China Electronics Group. Hikvision surveillance cameras are used by the Chinese government to monitor Uyghurs held in Chinese Communist Party prison camps.
Boxer was a Democrat who represented California between 1993 and 2017. He was a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Boxer was later appointed as a Hikvision advisor by the Department of Justice and registered as an agent for foreign countries.
She claimed that she was trying to create American jobs by providing advice to the Chinese surveillance company.
She stated that she was given strategic advice to assist a company is operating in a responsible and humane manner, in accordance with U.S. laws letter and spirit. This is a chance to improve the efficiency of things and preserve and create American jobs. She lobbies for Hikvision.
Boxer quit lobbying for the company after he was confronted with public outrage
Boxer voted in favor of the Currency Exchange Oversight Reform Act 2011, which Boehner blocked.
Boustany was a congressman for 12 years and was also a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. He was elected co-chair of the U.S. China Working Group, a bipartisan group that represents members interested in China issues.
Boustany tried to become a trade representative for Donald Trump’s government after he resigned in 2016. He was unsuccessful in getting the job.
Capitol Counsel was registered with the Department of Justice as a foreign agent to represent the China United States Exchange Foundation. This included organizing meetings on Capitol Hill.
Boustany was also the spokesperson for the group Tariffs Hurts the Heartland. The group argued that Trump’s tariffs on China’s abusive trade practices would actually hurt working-class Americans.
Capitol Counsel was also employed by the U.S. China Transpacific Foundation to lobby. According to its filings with the Justice Department, the UCTPF’s purpose is sponsoring staff and politicians to travel to China.
Cohen was a senator prior to becoming secretary of defense under the Bill Clinton presidency.
He left the Department of Defense to start the Cohen Group. The Cohen Group is well-known for its close ties to China. This includes Cohen’s 1978 trip to China to meet Deng Xiaoping (the Chinese Communist Leader).
Cohen, according to Cohen Group’s website, has been “[Cohen] a constant presence in the U.S. China relations, including security cooperation, commercial development, and security cooperation.” ”
The Cohen Group provides consulting services to Chinese state-owned businesses. Schweizer claims that these businesses are often used by China’s state.
The former Defense secretary also served as vice-chair of the U.S. China Business Council. This lobbying organization is for American companies that are interested in doing business and trade with China.
Due to Huawei’s close ties to China’s intelligence apparatus, the federal government declared Huawei a security threat. Huawei engaged the Cohen Group to help it negotiate with the U.S. director of national intelligence to sell its hardware to America.