(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., granted congressional awards to several individuals with ties to suspected Chinese Communist Party front groups suspected of spying on American citizens.
Chu has given out at least 10 awards of “Congressional Recognition” since becoming a representative in 2009.
According to the Daily Caller, all of the certificates were given when the recipients were affiliated with organizations identified as fronts for Chinese intelligence by the U.S. government.
Many of the awardees also have a record of donating to Chu’s campaigns.
The majority of Chu’s awarded constituents are former members of either the China Overseas Exchange Association or the China Overseas Friendship Association. The two groups merged in 2019.
Officials studying Chinese influence in the U.S. said that both COEA and COFA operate under the United Front Work Department, which is a Chinese government agency. Their stated mission is to “extend the CCP’s influence and control over non-Party organizations both domestically and abroad to advance the CCP’s policy objectives.”
That assessment has also been independently verified.
“Yes, COEA and COFA are front groups for the UFWD,” said Ina Mitchell, co-author of The Mosaic Effect: How The Chinese Communist Party Started A War In America’s Backyard.
Chu awarded a Certificate of Congressional Recognition to Stephen Sham in 2018 for being the first Chinese American to serve as mayor of Alhambra, Calif.
The town is within Chu’s 28th Congressional district.
Sham formerly served as COFA’s director, working to “shape international public opinion of China abroad.”
“COFA fulfills its mission through elite capture and public diplomacy with Western political figures,” Mitchell said. “There are thousands and thousands of United Front groups. It’s not hard for us to identify them, but the public doesn’t see it.”
Chu herself has several suspected ties to the CCP via the Forums if Peaceful Reunification in China, where she was named “honorary chairwoman.”