Ambassador to China Nick Burns revealed that the White House secretly established an Agricultural Working Group with the Chinese Communist Party to despite concerns over the national security risk posed by China’s foray into America’s farmland and food supply.
The stunning announcement follows efforts from Republican lawmakers to forbid Chinese Communist Party-linked companies and individuals from purchasing U.S. farmland, blocking their ability to influence the security of America’s food supply. President Joe Biden, however, appears to have taken a different and considerably more inviting approach to the Chinese Communist Party on agriculture matters, according to Ambassador Burns’s recent speech.
The group has not been previously reported.
Ambassador Burns – who worked for consulting firms representing the Chinese regime prior to joining the White House – made the remarks during a keynote address for the China United States Exchange Foundation’s (CUSEF) annual Hong Kong Forum on U.S.-China Relations. CUSEF is a Chinese state-sponsored propaganda effort that seeks to “influence foreign governments and other actors to take actions or adopt positions supportive of Beijing’s preferred policies,” according to the U.S. government.
CUSEF functions as part China’s “United Front,” which the federal government identifies as Beijing’s covert operation “to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party.” The U.S. State Department also compares the United Front to the Chinese regime’s “magic weapon” to advance its preferred policies by infiltrating American politics, media, and academia.
While the Chinese Communist Party’s foreign influence operations are vast, CUSEF is one of the most wide-reaching and nefarious components of the United Front.
Despite this, Ambassador Burns lauded the organization in his speech while celebrating President Biden making U.S.-China relations “more stable” and “better connected.” “We do not seek to decouple our two economies,” he added.
In the speech, Ambassador Burns also revealed the establishment of an Agricultural Working Group:
“We’ve also created eight new bilateral working groups to communicate on economic issues and work out our differences, including Treasury’s economic and financial working groups, the Department of Commerce’s commercial issues working group and information exchange on export controls, and the agricultural working groups between our two governments.”
“The purpose of these groups is to provide ongoing channels for our teams to drill into the substance of economic, trade, and financial policy issues. These are important developments to position our two governments to support a continuation of robust trade,” he added.
These remarks follow Ambassador Burns headlining an event sponsored by the U.S.-China Heartland Association (USCHA), a Chinese Communist Party-linked foreign influence group targeting American farmers and farmland, in December 2022.
Founded by former Democrat Governor of Missouri Bob Holden, the USHCA purports to be a “bipartisan organization committed to building stronger ties between the USHCA Region (20 states located in the USA between the Great Lakes to the Gulf) and the People’s Republic of China.” “Our focus will be on Trust Building efforts connecting government officials; business leaders; educational and community interests with like-minded institutions between the Heartland Region and the People’s Republic of China,” the group’s mission statement euphemizes.
The USHCA, however, appears to be used by several Chinese Communist Party-controlled organizations to gain access to American agricultural officials and company representatives. This includes sponsoring trips to China for Americans, often in exchange for “favorable coverage” and lucrative deals.
He used his speech to urge for more collaboration between China and the U.S. on agricultural endeavors, insisting “Agriculture is going to be priority for me as it is for our president as it is for Secretary [Tom] Vilsack.”
“Maintaining a constructive relationship on agriculture with the People’s Republic is going to be very important for the overall bilateral relationship,” he continued.
Ambassador Burns’s participation in the event follows the USHCA and other farming-focused Chinese Communist Party influence groups increasing their overtures towards American farmers amidst ongoing supply chain issues. https://warroom.org/white-house-secretly-set-up-agriculture-working-group-with-chinese-communist-party/