Beijing accused of wanting to smear naturalized American dissident and congressional candidate

(Washington) Prostitutes, big guns and a double agent: The United States accuses Beijing of seeking to “silence” its foreign critics using low blows and smearing a naturalized American dissident to undermine his candidacy for Congress.

Updated March 16

Charlotte PLANTIVE
French media agency

China denied the allegations on Thursday, saying Washington was seeking to “slander” it.

The US Department of Justice released three separate lawsuits at a press conference on Wednesday that it says proves the Chinese government’s “degree of aggressiveness” in cracking down on its opponents living in the United States.

The first concerns a smear campaign against a former Tiananmen Square protester, a 1992 US refugee, a naturalized American who, after a career in the US military, hopes to win a seat in the House of Representatives in November.

If his name is not given in the procedure, it appears to be Yang Xiong competing in the 1stD skiing in New York State.

According to court documents, Qiming Lin, a former Chinese police officer, hired a private detective in the US to monitor the candidate and discredit him.

The detective informed the federal police in September, after which their exchanges were recorded.

In excerpts, Qiming Lin explains that he wants to defeat the candidate before the May Democratic primary. “Otherwise, he will be elected as a deputy, and we don’t want that,” he explained to his interlocutor.

In the following conversations, he asks the detective to look for embarrassing elements in his past, such as “romance” or financial embezzlement. “If you can’t find anything […]we can invent things,” he adds. Several scenarios are considered, including one involving a prostitute to film their antics.

As a last resort, the agent mentions the possibility of physically eliminating the dissident, for example, by staging a car accident.

Each time he says he wants to refer to others. “Because you know the Communist Party… I’m not the only one pulling the strings…”.

An arrest warrant has been issued for 59-year-old Qiming Lin, who is believed to be in China.

ruined statue

The United States, on the other hand, made arrests in two other comparable cases.

Arrested Wednesday, 73-year-old Chinese-born professor Shujun Wang, a naturalized American, is accused of providing China with information on pro-democracy activists, at least one of whom was later arrested in Hong Kong.

The co-founder of a New York-based organization said to be critical of the communist regime is suspected of using “his status in the Chinese diaspora” to collect information, which he then secretly passed on to four agents in Beijing.

Two more people were arrested in New York on Tuesday, Fan “Frank” Liu, a 62-year-old communications executive, and Matthew Zibouris, a 49-year-old bodyguard. They are accused of spying on Chinese opponents based in the United States and running a defamation campaign against them in order to obtain compensation.

Appearing in federal court in Brooklyn, Mr. Liu was released, but under electronic surveillance and on a $1 million bail. The fate of the Vanga and Ziburis have not yet decided.

According to court documents, they tried to bribe a tax official to get a dissident’s testimony. They also plotted to destroy a statue of a Chinese-born Los Angeles artist who depicted President Xi Jinping with the coronavirus. His work was later looted.

The two men acted on orders from Chinese technology company employee Qiang Sun, 40. Charged, he was not arrested.

When questioned during a press briefing, Chinese diplomat Zhao Lijian dismissed the allegations “made up out of thin air”, stating that the communist regime “never requires its citizens to engage in illegal activities” in their country of residence.

For the US authorities, these lawsuits “reflect the determination of the US to confront the threat of China, but not only.” Iran, Russia, North Korea or Belarus are also engaging in this kind of “transnational repression,” Matthew Olsen, who heads national security files at the Justice Department, lamented.

“We will not allow any foreign government to infringe on the freedom of speech” of Americans and those who have come to live in the US, he added.

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