In Backing Disgraced Treasurer, John Liu Sticks Close to Beijing

NEW YORK—In the midst of a hotly contested race for mayor, Comptroller John Liu publicly spurned an aide guilty of breaking campaign finance laws, while showing loyalty to his campaign treasurer, who was found guilty of the same offenses. With that loyalty Liu has demonstrated his fealty to the vast system in Chinatown that’s under the influence of the Chinese regime—including its state-run media, its township associations, and its agents of influence.

Liu made his stance clear the day that Xing Wu (Oliver) Pan and Jenny Hou were sentenced.

At his May 2 evening press conference, Liu reiterated that Jenny Hou was a good, capable person. Asked about Pan, Liu coldly replied, “I said what I said about Jenny.”

On May 16, both Liu and Pan attended a celebration hosted by one of Chinatown’s associations, the Fujian Fuqi Association. During the event, neither Liu nor any members of the association would speak to Pan, who left halfway through with tears in his eyes.

According to sources in Chinatown, Pan had lost trust because he was the one who introduced Liu to an undercover FBI agent.

In backing Jenny Hou, Liu is affirming his ties to her father, Hou Jianli, president of the Beijing Township Association, which has close ties to the Chinese regime.

Associations Come Courting
Township associations play pseudo-governmental roles in Chinese communities around the world. They are often divided between those that support Taiwan and those that support the Chinese regime.

The Chinese regime has two government branches dedicated to winning over the associations: the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, and the United Front Work Department. After winning them over, the regime uses them to govern and control Chinese communities.

Leaders of Chinese associations, under the regime’s influence, often use trips to China as a way to bring people into the regimes orbit.

Liu personally met with the vice president of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, Xu Yousheng, during a trip he took to China in 2007, when he was still a City Council member.

One of Liu’s six escorts on that trip was Jenny Hou’s father. The others included Lu Chenrai, chairman of the Shandong Township Association and the U.S. Shandong Chinese Chamber of Commerce; Xu Jiashu, Chairman of New York Chinese Chamber of Commerce; and Zhuang Zhenhui, former chairman of New York Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce.

Photographs show Liu with Xu Yousheng, and the other leaders of Chinese associations from New York.

Agent of Influence

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange described how the Chinese regime develops agents of influence in an Oct. 5, 2009, article announcing the release of an internal report from the U.K. Ministry of Defense.

“The process of being cultivated as a ‘friend of China’ (ie. an ‘agent’) is subtle and long-term,” states Assange’s summary of the report.

It states that when a person of interest is brought to China, agents of the regime will try to exploit the person’s interest in Chinese culture, flatter them, and use food and alcohol to “soften” the process. Then the offers will come.

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