In a breaking news report by the D.C.-based media company Axios, it has been revealed that a Chinese spy targeted Californian politicians and infiltrated the inner circles of members of Congress.
The Chinese female agent in question, who went by the names Christine Fang or Fang Fang, developed extensive ties with national and local politicians, with a particular focus on cultivating relationships with Democrats in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Attention Nacy Pelosi: Are you reading this?
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that the intelligence operation ran from 2011 to 2015 (ah, the halcyon Obama years) and was directed by China’s main civilian spy agency, China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS).
Add this event and national security risk to President Obama’s long list of coverups, along with Benghazi, ATF’s gun-walking scandal named Operation Fast and Furious, and the illegal surveillance of then-candidate Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign in 2020.
This new report from Axios provides a rare window into how the communists in Beijing attempt to infiltrate and influence American politics and elected leaders.
Christine Fang, the Chinese spy at the center of this case, used campaign fundraising, networking, and romantic and/or sexual relationships to entice and entrap U.S. politicians. This includes two sexual relationships with at least two Midwestern mayors.
The FBI claims that Fang never received or obtained classified information (likely story!). However, Fang undoubtedly collected “political intelligence” of U.S. officials across the country, including private information, individual habits, preferences, schedules, social networks, and even rumors.
Collecting such information is a key function of any country’s intelligence agencies and helps inform decision-making when considering options against foreign governments and their people.
Among the most significant targets of Fang’s efforts include the Democratic Congressman from California Representative Eric Swalwell.
Rep. Swalwell may be best known for his failed presidential run in 2019 (a nobody among 35+ other nobodies vying for the Democratic presidential nomination) and for farting on live TV and then denying it.
Looks like Fang whiffed big on that target.
Fang helped to place at least one intern in Swalwell’s office and interacted with Swalwell over the course of several years.
Rep. Swalwell’s office issued the following statement in response to these revelations: “Rep. Swalwell, long ago, provided information about this person — whom he met more than eight years ago, and whom he hasn’t seen in nearly six years — to the FBI. To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story.”
This case demonstrates China’s commitment to the long-game political intelligence strategy that, along with infiltrating America’s higher-ed institutions, takes years to develop and execute.
(Although the Chinese have a ways to go before they match the deep-cover commitment and prowess of the Soviets/Russians, some of which are likely still living “normal” lives in our midst even though the Soviet Union fell 30 years ago.)
Fang also targeted Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), and then-Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA).
It’s possible Fang didn’t target Republicans because she knew that Republicans put national security first instead of feelings.
“We want to fight against racism, we want to call it out,” Wong, the former mayor of Cupertino, told Axios. “But if there’s a spy, we definitely support full prosecution and we don’t support China penetrating the Chinese community.”
You know the espionage affair is serious when even Democrats are acknowledging the gravity of the situation despite their fears of a woke backlash for “profiling” a Chinese American.
U.S. intelligence first noticed Fang during a surveillance operation that was tracking another suspected spy working undercover as a diplomat in the San Francisco consulate.
Both Fang and the suspected spy were charged with gathering political intel and running influence operations in the Bay Area.
According to Bill Harrison, the former Mayor of Freemont, California, the FBI told him that the play for Fang and agents like her is “to strike up a relationship with you and see if you move up the line.”
Fang left the U.S. abruptly in mid-2015 amid an FBI-led probe of her activities, likely catching the drift before she got caught.
Many of Fang’s cultivated contacts in San Francisco Bay-area politics were surprised by her disappearance. Months later, rumors would surface that the FBI was investigating her.
The Bay Area is an important target for the Chinese due to several factors: along with some of America’s most powerful politicians getting their start there, the Bay Area also is the U.S.’s main technology hub with Silicon Valley as well being home to one of the oldest and largest Chinese American communities.
Add clueless Democrats to the mix and it all makes for a ripe target.
The Justice Department has filed no charges against Fang.