New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams met with a Chinese Communist Party-run foreign influence flagged by the U.S. government for seeking to “directly and malignly influence” officials to push pro-Beijing policies.
Adams, the Democratic Party nominee in the upcoming New York City mayoral election, met with leaders from the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) during a 2017 trip to China.
The CPAFFC has been dubbed the “public face” of the United Front – a billion-dollar effort executed by the Chinese Communist Party seeking “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’s preferred policies,” according to the federal U.S.-China Security and Economic Review Commission.
Also referred to as “avowedly an arm of the party-state,” CPAFFC has been flagged by the U.S. State Department for its campaigns to “directly and malignly influence” American officials.
Despite the CPAFFC’s track record of conducting foreign influence operations, Adams met with the group in October 2017 during his ongoing tenure as the Borough President of Brooklyn, New York. A CPAFFC press release – “Director Zhang Heqiang Meets with the Mayor of Brooklyn, New York City” – describes the meeting, which took place in Beijing.
The Director “introduced to him the work functions of [CPAFFC] and its work in the United States.”
“In the future, he hopes to further promote Brooklyn’s exchanges with China and enhance bilateral cooperation in the fields of youth exchanges, culture, and commerce,” CPAFFC summarized regarding Adam’s takeaway from the meeting.