Decision praised to investigate U.S. broadcaster bowing to Beijing pressure
By BOB UNRUH
A coalition of American organizations promoting freedom inside China is praising a decision that there will be formal investigation of those managers at Voice of America who cut off, mid-sentence more or less, a long-planned on-air interview with Chinese dissident Guo Wengui.
Five journalists there also were investigated over the interview.
According to a statement posted on the website for Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, which has spent years fighting China’s one-child, now two-child, limits that trigger mandatory abortions, the office of Inspector General at the U.S. State Department will investigate the “management decisions” of the situation.
Besides Reggie Littlejohn of WWRF, the statement was signed by “The Barefoot Lawyer” author Chen Guangcheng, China Aid Assoication chief Bob Fu, Jianli Yang of Initiatives for China, Yaxue Cao of China Change, Lianchao Han of the Hudson Institute and Fengsuo Zhou of China Human Rights Accountability Center.
Littlejohn’s posting explained, “For those unfamiliar with the Guo Wengui interview incident, on April 19 of this year, Voice of America China Branch was set to broadcast a three-hour live interview of Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire with close ties to the Chinese State Security apparatus, who claimed to have information about high-level official corruption in the Chinese regime.
“Specifically, Guo stated his intent publicly to expose how China’s State Security apparatus pressured the Chinese business community into financing its infiltration into organizations globally, as well as its monitoring of Chinese citizens.
“VOA’s upper-level management abruptly cut short the interview mid-broadcast, to the consternation of the Chinese audience, many of whom believe that VOA was kowtowing to the Chinese Communist Party.”
The letter noted that five journalists then were “put on administrative leave.”
But the letter questions what happened to those journalists, and what triggered the abrupt shutdown of the interview.
It continued, “According to reports and information provided to us, the Chinese Communist regime took several extraordinary actions during the days leading up to the interview. For example, two days before the scheduled interview, officials from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned VOA’s Beijing correspondent to pressure VOA to cancel the interview. Officials then issued a warrant for the arrest of Guo. After this, the Chinese Communist Party issued a notice alerting Interpol of the Chinese regime’s arrest warrant for Guo. Having done this, they then accused Guo of being a fugitive criminal.
“The day before the interview, the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. called the VOA Mandarin Service and demanded cancellation of the Guo interview,” the letter cited.
“Could it be that VOA management did indeed cave to pressure from the Chinese government? If so, why would VOA management be vulnerable to such pressure? Could reports be true that members of VOA management and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG, VOA’s parent federal agency) have significant business interests in China?”
The letter expressed suspicions of conflicts of interest.
“We applaud the OIG’s decision to conduct an investigation. We look forward to the results of this investigation, which we believe will include a complete vindication of the VOA Mandarin Five,” the statement said.
The Free Beacon reported just this week that the Hudson Institute, a Washington think tank, abruptly canceled a scheduled public appearance by Guo Wengui just before it was to be held.
Spokesman David Tell admitted there had been pressure from China, citing a cyber attack, a denial of service, that targeted the institute and had been traced to Shanghai.
The report said Shanghai is home of the Chinese military’s Unit 61398, a military cyber espionage unit.
Guo, who now is in exile in New York, recently applied for political asylum.
“I am shocked at Hudson’s cancelation, but at the same time I am also pleased the issue has proven to the American people and people of the world my repeated warning of the virulence and harmfulness of the Chinese kleptocrats’ long reach,” Guo told the Beacon in a statement.
“The significance and value of this incident has surpassed my talk at Hudson.”
The report said the Chinese government intimidation is the latest incident “in what appears to be a Chinese government influence campaign in the United States targeting Guo.”
Deep Chinese infiltration: Guo Wengui blames Chinese moles in US broadcaster Voice of America for pulling plug on interview.
“China also has been linked to another cyber attack against the Washington law firm Clark Hill that until recently had been representing Guo in his bid for political asylum in the United States,” the report said.
Guo is thought to be worth about $28 billion from real estate and other business operations, although China has frozen much of that.
He has revealed some details about China’s intel operations and he could be an intelligence “bonanza” for the U.S., the report said.
A Today report this week also said Facebook blocked a profile under Guo’s name.
Facebook claimed in the report the pages included someone else’s personal identifiable information.