China has been able to score public relations and legislative successes in Utah, reportedly thanks in part to the relationships it has developed there, according to a new investigative study.
According to the report, the Chinese appealed to the lawmaker’s ties to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in order to win favor with them, which they then used to score wins in a variety of other areas, such as postponing legislation that took action against Chinese propaganda in the state, canceling resolutions that condemned China, and promoting false positive images of China.
According to the article, church leaders had long dreamed of growing their presence in China.
China has notched a series of high-profile legislative and propaganda victories in Utah in the past several years due to its cozy relationship with the Mormon church.
Confucius Institutes, propaganda organizations supported by the Chinese government, will remain open at public universities for another year thanks to a recent legislative reprieve.
A Chinese teacher in Utah arranged for her fourth-graders to send greeting cards to China President Xi Jinping, who responded by writing to the pupils.
In reality, Xi is a harsh tyrant who has thrown tens of thousands of people into concentration camps, but official media in China utilized this episode to paint him as a kind grandpa figure responding to requests from American Children
According to the story, several state legislators raved about the cards Xi delivered to the kids.
According to the article, China’s civilian espionage agency, the Ministry of State Security (MSS), has also been concentrating its efforts on the state of Utah.
The study notes that many persons in Utah have been convicted of spying for China in recent years.
According to the report, parties of up to a couple of dozen Utah politicians have been regularly conducting trips to China every other year since 2007.
While they are there, these lawmakers have made statements confirming that are then exploited by state media for propaganda purposes.
The report also alleged that two men, Taowen Le, a Chinese professor who moved to the United States in the late 1990s, and Dan Stephenson, the son of a former state senator and employee of a China-based consulting firm, were responsible for a significant portion of China’s increased activity in the state.
Taowen Le is a Chinese professor who moved to the United States in the late 1990s. Dan Stephenson is an employee of a China-based consulting firm.
The report comes as concern over China’s growing influence within the United States has increased along with tensions about the Communist titan’s long term plans for the island of Taiwan. A democracy which many believe it may be preparing to eventually invade.