Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Biden's CIA Pick Runs a Think Tank With Lots of China Ties

A new piece from the Washington Examiner highlights the multitude of ties that the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has with China.  President Joe Biden recently nominated Bill Burns, President of Carnegie, to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  Here are some excerpts:

President Biden’s nominee to run the CIA, William Burns, is the head of a think tank that has routinely received large donations from groups linked to the Chinese Communist Party.

Burns serves as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and he has invited close to a dozen congressional staffers on a trip to China to meet with communist party operatives and leaders of Chinese front groups.

Burns, who has served in his position at Carnegie for six years, also welcomed Chinese businessman Zhang Yichen, CEO of CITIC Consulting, to join the think tank’s board of trustees.

Zhang is linked to two organizations with Chinese Communist Party ties, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the Center for China and Globalization.

Zhang’s firm gave Carnegie a donation of between $500,000 and $999,000 between 2017 and 2018. In the 2020 fiscal year, the firm made donations to the think tank between $250,000 and $549,999.

Carnegie also received donations between $100,000 and $249,999 from China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), an organization the Washington, D.C.,-based think tank Jamestown Foundation called “a major player in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s organizational apparatus for conducting united front work in the United States.”

Zhang’s donations helped Carnegie fund the Beijing-based Carnegie-Tsinghua Center, which partners with one of China’s top technological universities, Tsinghua University.


Here are even more details from Daily Caller, which points out that back in 2018, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) raised concerns that Wang Huiyao, the President of the Center for China and Globalization, was set to speak at an event hosted by the Wilson Center think tank.

Among other things, the piece notes that Carnegie is "largely supportive" of closer diplomatic ties between China and the US, and in 2019, the think tank hosted a "1.5 track dialogue" in Beijing aimed at "reducing misperceptions and keeping channels of communication open."

It also notes that Burns at Cui Tiankai, the Chinese Ambassador to the US, appeared together at a Carnegie event in 2018.  The think tank has also provided China Global Television Network (CGTN), a state-controlled news organization, access to its various foreign policy experts.

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch piece about China's funding of US think tanks.

It should be noted that nearly every major US foreign policy think tank has numerous ties to China.