A Break in the Case: The FBI Zeroes in on Exactly How China Secretly Funneled Money into American Politics

By Klaidman, Daniel | Newsweek, May 19, 1997 | Go to article overview

A Break in the Case: The FBI Zeroes in on Exactly How China Secretly Funneled Money into American Politics


Klaidman, Daniel, Newsweek


THE MONEY CAME FROM BEIJING, approved by China's highest governing body: the State Council. In a series of covert 1995 transactions, federal law-enforcement officials tell NEWSWEEK, Beijing channeled nearly $1 million into the United States. Five hundred thousand dollars went to the Chinese Embassy in Washington; $150,000 found its way to consulates in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston. The Feds say that this money, along with other new evidence, provides a remarkably clear and detailed blueprint of a secret plan to influence American politicians and policy.

The urgent new offensive was China's attempt to settle a decades-old political score with Taiwan. Beijing was jealous of Taiwan's successful U.S. lobbying. National Security Agency intercepts of conversations between Chinese officials in Beijing and Washington plainly show China's obsession with Taiwan's superior skills. "They were whining about the strength of the Taiwan lobby," says one official. Beijing denies any wrongdoing, but law-enforcement sources tell NEWSWEEK they have strong evidence the Chinese pursued a three-prong strategy to win influence: exploit a network of pro-Beijing intermediaries in the United States to illegally funnel money to politicians, mount an aggressive propaganda campaign and offer the relatives of targeted politicians "economic advantages"--lucrative business deals on the mainland. The Feds say Beijing didn't expect immediate results. Instead, the Chinese took "the long view," says one source, identifying promising local and state politicians--"comers" they believed would one day rise to national prominence.

It's not yet clear just how successful the Chinese were in carrying out the plan. But investigators working under FBI Director Louis Freeh believe the story of one politician-California Treasurer Matt Fong--is a case study in what the Chinese were up to. A young star in the Republican Party, Fong has aggressively promoted trade with China and regularly advises House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Asia policy. He recently announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Just as the Taiwanese once tried to entice a young governor named Bill Clinton with trips to Taipei, the Chinese, the Feds believe, wanted to support Fong, a politician they believed was on his way up. Investigators are particularly interested in three contributions totaling $100,000 that Fong's campaign received in 1995' money that investigators believe was part of the Chinese influence scheme. There is no evidence Fong knew about the questionable source of the contributions. In fact, investigators believe, the Chinese went to great lengths to conceal it from him.

Face time: How that worked sheds light on the second part of the suspected Chinese plan: the use of foreign nationals as conduits for money and propaganda. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Break in the Case: The FBI Zeroes in on Exactly How China Secretly Funneled Money into American Politics
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.