by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Congressional Republicans are demanding answers from the Carter Center for its collaboration with Chinese government-backed entities as part of a wider effort to crack down on Chinese influence-peddling efforts in the United States.
Rep. Jody Hice (R., Ga.) and three other Georgia Republicans criticized the Carter Center for cohosting events with entities backed by the United Front, the Chinese Communist Party’s foreign influence arm, in a Wednesday letter. The Atlanta-based think tank was founded by its namesake, former president Jimmy Carter.
“The United Front is an organization which is deeply hostile to any idea contrary to Communism.… We are deeply troubled that the United Front continues to be given a platform to spread its propaganda in the United States,” the letter reads.
The letter’s publication coincides with a renewed push from other congressional Republicans to restrict China’s activities in the United States. Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.) introduced legislation that will severely restrict the United Front and other CCP-linked influence groups in the United States.
“The Chinese Communist Party expands its disinformation campaign each day,” Cotton told the Washington Free Beacon. “The United Front Work Department is just another venue for the CCP to spread its propaganda and to co-opt foreign groups to toe the CCP line. We must put an end to their tactics.”
Chinese government-backed entities have spent large sums of money to peddle pro-Beijing propaganda across the world. The United Front and other China-backed groups have a long history of targeting think tanks such as the Carter Center to disseminate pro-China propaganda.
The China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), a nonprofit group backed by the United Front, has channeled millions of dollars to famed U.S. think tanks such as the Brookings Institution, Center for American Progress, and the Atlantic Council. The Carter Center received more than $100,000 from the foundation in 2019 alone, according to its most recent annual report.