by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Chinese influence operations in the United States are pervasive and include the use of covert operations to support the objectives of the Communist Party of China in silencing critics of the regime in Beijing.
China’s targeting of billionaire Chinese dissident Guo Wengui is a case study in the use of these covert methods.
A conspiracy was launched by the People’s Republic of China that involved a $3 billion scheme to lobby the Trump administration to force Guo’s return to China. The operation involved Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho, known as Jho Low, and rapper Prakazrel “Pras” Michel, who also is a record producer, songwriter, and actor and one of the founding members of the hip-hop group, the Fugees.
Operating through still undisclosed contacts in the Chinese government, Low and Michel hatched a scheme to convince the Trump administration to give up Guo. The plan was revealed in the hacked emails of Elliott Broidy, who at one time was a senior Republican Party finance official. To carry out the plan, the two men worked together with Broidy and his wife, who were plugged in to the highest reaches of the Trump administration. …
… In addition to the hacked emails, the Chinese government-backed scheme to repatriate Guo was outlined in court papers in the case of a Justice Department official, George Higginbotham, who pleaded guilty to helping launder tens of millions of dollars of Chinese money for the secret influence campaign launched by Low and Michel.