President Biden nominated former U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini, who has taken several trips to China sponsored by a Chinese Communist Party-linked influence group seeking to “co-opt and neutralize opposition” to the regime, for an educational board.
Biden advanced DeConcini, a former Arizona Senator, as a candidate to join the Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The taxpayer-backed foundation distributes hundreds of scholarships to American undergraduates working in the field of natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.
The National Pulse can reveal, however, that the Democratic Senator has accepted at least five trips to China from the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF). The organization is part of the Chinese Communist Party’s “United Front,” an effort that seeks 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 U.S. government.
CUSEF operates a “Former U.S. Congressmen Program,” where the organization sponsors travel to China for ex-officials, and upon return, participants create “favorable” reports that are “distributed to politicians, experts, and other relevant individuals and organizations in the US,” according to Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) filings. Participants are “chosen based on their seniority and relevance to US-China relations during their time in Congress, as well as their open-minded perspective to China,” notes a program description:
“Former Congressmen can visit with current and former politicians in China, university professors and students, think tanks, and businesspeople to deepen their understanding of China’s peaceful development. Additionally, cultural activities and touring historic sites can also provide further context into the history of China’s development. Such visits will also help inform Chinese officials and thinkers about America’s perspectives of current domestic and foreign affairs issues that are relevant to China.”
And DeConcini, the former Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has aided the effort to spread Chinese Communist Party propaganda, revealing in a 2017 op-ed that he joined five separate CUSEF delegations to China.
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“I returned to China for the fifth time recently with a delegation of former U.S. senators sponsored by the China-United States Exchange Foundation,” he wrote in an article titled “Arizona Would Be Smart To Strengthen Ties With China.”
“China has risen to the upper echelons of global power, and the country’s leaders and its people intend to stay there,” he added in the piece – likely arranged in exchange for his participation in the CUSEF trip. “It’s in our interest to be nice to China,” DeConcini asserts.
During his tenure on the Arizona Board of Regents, DeConcini also entered the University of Arizona into collaborative deals with Chinese state-run universities.