Dem Rep Handed Out Congressional Awards To Members Of Alleged Chinese Influence Operations

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California Democratic Rep. Judy Chu has handed out congressional awards to at least 10 individuals who belonged to alleged Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intelligence front groups, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found.

Over the last decade, Chu has awarded certificates of “Congressional Recognition” to at least 10 individuals for a variety of reasons, including launching a non-profit, according to multiple sources. However, at the time the awards were given, the recipients also belonged to a handful of organizations that were previously identified by China experts and U.S. government agencies as front groups serving a Chinese government “intelligence service,” according to DCNF translations of related membership records.

Furthermore, many of the certificate recipients have at one point or another financially contributed to Chu’s political campaigns, finance records reveal.

Chu’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Seven of the 10 individuals in question have belonged to either the China Overseas Exchange Association (COEA) or the organization with which it merged in 2019, the China Overseas Friendship Association (COFA), the DCNF found.

Multiple experts recently told the DCNF that both COEA and COFA serve the United Front Work Department (UFWD), a Chinese government agency tasked “with extending the CCP’s influence and control over non-Party organizations both domestically and abroad to advance CCP policy objectives,” according to multiple reports from the U.S.-China Economic Security and Review Commission (USCC).

“Yes, COEA and COFA are front groups for the UFWD,” Ina Mitchell, co-author of “The Mosaic Effect: How The Chinese Communist Party Started A War In America’s Backyard,” told the DCNF.

COFA’s website reveals that the organization was founded by the UFWD in 1997, while the USCC identified the organization as “the UFWD China Overseas Friendship Association” in 2018.

In November 2018, Rep. Chu awarded a “Certificate of Congressional Recognition” to Stephen Sham for his public service. Sham was reportedly the first Chinese-American to serve as mayor of Alhambra, California, a city located within Chu’s 28th Congressional district.

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