The Center for American Progress – a leading left-wing think-tank influential in the Biden White House – partnered with a Chinese Communist Party influence group on reports guiding American policy in the Middle East.
Often highlighted as for being “closely aligned” with the White House during the Obama years, the Center for American Progress (CAP) carries similar influence under Biden, counting several former employees and fellows as officials in Joe Biden’s White House.
The think tank’s Chinese Communist Party-sponsored paper from July 2015 is entitled “Exploring Avenues for China-U.S. Cooperation on the Middle East”. One of the paper’s authors is now Biden’s China Policy Coordinator for the Office of the Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Melanie Hart.
The National Pulse has previously highlighted how CAP staff – including Hart – have taken trips and authored research reports subsidized by the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF).
Similarly, the CAP-CUSEF collaboration on Middle East policy included both video and in-person exchanges in Beijing. As the CAP website notes:
For more than 12 months, scholars at these institutions conducted an exchange of both ideas and papers. The exchange included several videoconferences between Washington, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Beijing; papers reflecting the views of each side; and a joint exchange in Beijing in April 2015.
CUSEF was founded by the Vice-Chairman of the “highest-ranking entity overseeing” China’s United Front, which the U.S.-China Security and Economic Review Commission identifies as seeking to “to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party” and “influence foreign governments to take actions or adopt positions supportive of Beijing.” The multi-billion-dollar effort is also closely tied to and controlled by the country’s People’s Liberation Army.
The 84-page report pushes for the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party to play both a greater and collaborative role in the Middle East, with its introduction noting:
“One area China and the United States should discuss in greater detail is identifying opportunities for cooperation in order to advance shared interests in the Middle East.”
“China and the United States are conducting regular consultation on Middle East affairs and furthering institution building,” the report celebrates while urging the two countries to continue their joint efforts in the region. It also highlights Afghanistan as a potential area of cooperation:
Yet the assumption of U.S.-China competition overlooks a unique opportunity to transform U.S.-China cooperation in a region deeply important to both countries: Central and South Asia, in particular Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The report calls for the U.S. to embrace the Chinese regime’s controversial Belt and Road Initiative, as the report contains a section titled: “U.S. and China Silk Road Visions: Collaboration, not Competition.”
“The opportunity to connect the Middle East with the rest of the global economy through the New Silk Road initiative offers a possible new frame of hope and progress, as the Middle East faces daunting challenges in the early years of the 21st century,” it notes.
The National Pulse has previously exposed emails from Hart ahead of a 2015 CUSEF-sponsored trip to China where she reveals she is “fine” with Chinese think-tanks partnering with “western ones (like [CAP])” to do more “international influencing” before noting the government crackdown that would “force CAP to conduct all of its China activities under direct police supervision”:
“Basically, they are demanding that Chinese think tanks sharpen up and be more “influential and famous.” They want Chinese think tanks to partner with western ones (like us) more and do more international influencing. That’s fine…”