Chinese Companies’ Overseas Offices and Expat Organizations Serve as Beijing’s Outposts: Leaked Documents

Surveillance cameras are seen in front of a Huawei logo in Belgrade, Serbia, Aug. 11, 2020. Picture taken August 11, 2020. (Reuters/Marko Djurica)
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BY ALEX WU

The Epoch Times recently obtained government documents revealing that overseas divisions of Chinese state-owned companies and Chinese expat associations serve as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s outposts for pushing its economic and political agenda outside of China.

The documents exposed that the CCP maintains close ties with state-owned businesses and has set up liaison offices with chambers of commerce in various countries to serve as connections to its United Front Work Department. This Party agency is tasked with infiltrating countries through business, cultural, and educational exchanges in order to spread its propaganda, influence local elites, and suppress dissident groups.

The leaked documents come from the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of Liuzhou city, Guangxi Province. In September 2017, Liu Chuanlin, deputy director of the Liuzhou branch of the CCP’s rubber-stamp legislature, led a five-member delegation to Russia and Greece. During the trip, the delegation received a “warm reception and service” from Chinese state-owned enterprises and local Chinese chambers of commerce, the documents stated.

Liuzhou’s foreign affairs office thanked the Russian branch of state-owned Guangxi Liugong Machinery Co., and Moscow’s Overseas Chinese Youth Federation (a United Front organization). The office also sent a thank-you letter to the Greek branch of Huawei Technologies Co. and the Fujian Province Chamber of Commerce in Greece. Both letters were dated September 2017.

“Thank-you Letter” to the Russian branch of Guangxi Liugong Machinery from the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of Liuzhou City. (Provided to The Epoch Times)

In the letter addressed to Guangxi Liugong Machinery, the office expressed gratitude for the company’s “vigorous assistance and thoughtful arrangements” in hosting the delegation. The office also praised a manager from the marketing department and a senior regional manager for “doing a good job of various reception services throughout the trip.”

The letter also praised the company’s contribution to the CCP’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It revealed that Liugong Machinery has developed 65 sales representative organizations in 47 of the 65 countries within the framework of the BRI, Beijing’s effort to build infrastructure projects throughout the world.

The company has established six branches along the BRI corridors, including Russia, Poland, Singapore, India, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the Netherlands, the letter stated.

The “thank you letter” from the Liuzhou Foreign Affairs Office to Huawei Greece stated that the Liuzhou delegation received strong assistance and warm hospitality from an employee at the company’s credit insurance system department, and a sales representative from Huawei’s representative office in Greece.

In recent years, the company has been scrutinized for security threats posed by its close ties with the Chinese military. Several countries have excluded the company for their 5G wireless communication infrastructure.

Current affairs commentator Li Linyi told The Epoch Times that the thank-you letters demonstrated that the CCP’s United Front is coordinating with overseas businesses and associations to advance the Party’s economic goals.

Other leaked documents from the Liuzhou government also exposed that the CCP has set up a number of overseas Chinese business liaison offices in foreign countries.

One such document was a speech delivered by city government leaders during a conference on foreign affairs on March 3, 2017. It revealed that in 2016, the city cooperated with eight “key” overseas Chinese associations and chambers of commerce in seven countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. It also signed and established eight overseas Chinese business liaison offices. The purpose of the business associations and liaison offices is to support Liuzhou-based auto manufacturer SAIC-GM-Wuling, Liugong Machinery, and other companies to establish production bases abroad.

Liuzhou government’s “Speech by Municipal Leaders at the Conference on Foreign Affairs and Overseas Chinese Affairs.” (Provided to The Epoch Times)

Another leaked document, an “official letter” issued by the Guangxi Chamber of Commerce in Thailand to the Liuzhou Foreign Affairs Office on Feb. 7, 2017, revealed that the chamber of commerce promoted Liuzhou businesses and called itself “a bridge between Thailand and China.” The letter also stated that from Feb. 17 to Feb. 19, 2017, the Guangxi General Chamber of Commerce in Thailand would lead the chairman of Thailand-based Thonburi Education Group to Liuzhou city for exchange activities with higher education institutions, including cooperation in administering schools and other projects.

The leaders of the pro-CCP Chinese expat organizations in foreign countries have been rewarded for their services and contribution to the Chinese regime by being recommended to be VIP guests for the Liuzhou Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference committee meeting. The committee is a high-level political advisory body and a central part of the CCP’s United Front Work Department.

The VIP recommendation list included the then-chairman of the Guangxi General Chamber of Commerce in Thailand; then-chairman of the Guangxi Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, and then-Secretary General of the Kwangsi (Guangxi) Association of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

Liuzhou Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference committee meeting V.I.P. recommendation form of Li, Chairman of the Guangxi General Chamber of Commerce in Thailand. Provided to The Epoch Times.

In the CCP’s recommendation form, then-chairman of the Guangxi General Chamber of Commerce in Thailand pledged his loyalty to the Party.

According to the document, Li said: “I have always loved the motherland and firmly supported the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the state’s guidelines and national policies. I led the folks of the Guangxi Chamber of Commerce in Thailand to actively participate in various activities of the Chinese Embassy in Thailand, and the activities organized by the Guangxi government’s Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, the CCP’s Federation of Overseas Chinese, and other departments.”

Gu Qing’er Contributed to the report.

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