By Philip Lenczycki
- At least 16 Chinese policy experts’ profiles disappeared from the website of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace around Nov. 18 after the Daily Caller News Foundation revealed the nonprofit had employed members of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intelligence front groups on Nov. 11.
- Carnegie did not respond to multiple requests for comment and it remains unclear why the profiles were removed.
- “The CCP has worked diligently to infiltrate American think tanks,” Florida Republican Rep. Michael Waltz told the DCNF.
- “It’s past time for Congress to investigate this corrupt organization,” Texas Republican Rep. Lance Gooden told the DCNF.
Over a dozen current and former Chinese policy experts’ profiles disappeared from the website of a prominent Washington, D.C., think tank roughly a week after the Daily Caller News Foundation revealed the nonprofit had employed members of Chinese intelligence front groups of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
At least 16 expert profiles were scrubbed on the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s website at some point following Nov. 18, the DCNF determined after reviewing the 20 profiles of individuals identified in August as CCP members as well as more than a dozen expert profiles whom the DCNF revealed on Nov. 11 belonged to front groups controlled by either the Ministry of State Security (MSS) or the intelligence arm of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). For example, the DCNF discovered that searching an archived version of Carnegie’s website for Zhou Qi — an expert whom the DCNF identified as a member of the CCP and multiple MSS fronts — retrieved her Carnegie profile as late as Nov. 18, but that beginning around Nov. 23, the same search on the web returned a “Page Not Found” error.
Yet, it remains unclear why Carnegie removed the profiles and whether or not the nonprofit continues to employ the experts. Neither Carnegie’s Washington, D.C., headquarters nor its China office responded to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
“Carnegie is attempting to cover up their ties to Communist China, but the infiltration is so severe that they are unwilling — or potentially even unable — to purge every last CCP member and intelligence front group operative from their ranks,” Republican Texas Rep. Lance Gooden told the DCNF. “It’s past time for Congress to investigate this corrupt organization.”
Among those scrubbed, Carnegie also removed at least three individuals whom the DCNF had not previously reported on including Wu Riqiang, an expert on nuclear policy, Wang Suolao, an international relations expert, and Xie Tao, an expert on U.S.-China relations. The DCNF determined that all three experts belong to front groups for the United Front Work Department (UFWD), an organization which serves the CCP and has engaged in espionage, propaganda and the use of physical violence, the State Department announced in 2020.
While Wu is a member of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs — a UFWD front, according to the Hoover Institution — Wang is a member of the China-Middle East Society of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, which is a subcomponent of the UFWD’s governing body, according to the 2018 U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission report. Likewise, Xie is an expert at the Center for China and Globalization — a UFWD front operating in the U.S., according to the same report — where Carnegie board of trustees member, Zhang Yichen, serves as senior vice chairman.
“These revelations shouldn’t surprise anyone — the CCP has worked diligently to infiltrate American think tanks, university endowments, Hollywood, corporate boards, TikTok and much more as part of broader pattern to help shape policy,” Republican Florida Rep. Michael Waltz told the DCNF. “Should a Republican-led Congress establish a select committee on China, I hope we will investigate these kinds of connections.”
However, Carnegie has not removed at least 15 other profiles belonging to experts whom the DCNF has previously identified as either members of the CCP, Chinese intelligence front groups or both. These individuals include Li Bin, a nuclear policy expert, Shi Zhiqin, a China-EU relations expert and Yan Xuetong, a U.S.-China relations expert.
The DCNF discovered that Li — a member of both the CCP and the China Foundation for International and Strategic Studies, which former CIA intelligence analyst Peter Mattis identified as a PLA intelligence front — used hundreds of thousands of dollars of Department of Defense grants awarded to Carnegie to conduct nuclear warfare research during CIA Director William Burns’ presidency of the think tank.
Similarly, Yan is an “outstanding CCP member” whom the DCNF recently reported has worked for at least four intelligence fronts, including the China Association For International Friendly Contact, which is a front for the PLA’s intelligence arm, according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2011 report.