Exclusive: Chinese Communist Party Influence Operation Against HBCUs & Congressional Black Caucus
Updated: Oct 12, 2021
The Chinese Communist Party is Paying an American Firm to Help Infiltrate Historically Black Colleges & Universities & Influence the Congressional Black Caucus.
As Intrepid Research continues to investigate the Chinese Communist Party’s influence and infiltration operations within our American educational system, the true extent of this is yet to be realized. Not only are they sponsoring Confucius Institutes and student organizations at our public universities. They are also doing so at private and religious universities. The CCP is inside our K-12 schools, STEM schools, college testing organizations, and even our military service academies (exclusive to come on that). They have infiltrated every level of our education system. Now, Intrepid Research has uncovered their extensive efforts to co-opt our historically black colleges and universities and to extend that operation into the halls of Congress.
An exclusive investigation by Intrepid Research has uncovered a Chinese Communist Party influence operation directed at American historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as well as the Congressional Black Caucus and they are paying an American firm to help carry it out.
The bold thing is they are not even covering this operation in layers of secrecy. The organization paying this American firm is directly run by a senior cadre member of the Chinese Communist Party. It's not covert, but it is troubling.
The China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) has employed a firm called Wilson Global Communications to act as one of its registered foreign agents in the United States. The founder of CUSEF is Tung Chee-hwa. He was the first Chief Executive of Hong Kong after the handover and now serves as vice-chair of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a high level organization of the CCP.
Wilson Global Communications lists CUSEF as a client on their website. Wilson's contracts with CUSEF show her compensation from the group for her services as $13,000/month for 2017, $11,000/month for 2018, $13,000/month for 2019 and $15,000/month for 2020. She receives some compensation from HBCU-China Network schools as well. According to her website, Wilson first signed an agreement with CUSEF in 2011. However, as far as we can tell, she did not register as a foreign agent until 2018. Fairly certain that's a violation of FARA regulations.
The HBCU program they are implementing has targeted some 42 institutions for student exchanges, language and cultural programs, and establishment of more Confucius Institutes. Intrepid Research went through the website for Wilson Global Communications as well as their Foreign Agent Registration Act filings with the Justice Department from 2018-2021 and have identified and mapped the institutions connected to the HBCU-China Network.
One of the founding institutions of this HBCU program is the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). On November 16, 2016, Julia Wilson, president of Wilson Global Communications, self-described "global citizen," and unfortunately, a "useful idiot" for the CCP, gave a presentation on "The China Initiative" at the school extolling its virtues. You can watch her whole presentation on YouTube below.
The program offers scholarships for students to study in China and has hosted several HBCU presidents on junkets as well.
For example, in a report from one of these trips, we see additional CCP United Front entities on the itinerary. In December 2018, several HBCU presidents visited China. While there, they visited Confucius Institute Headquarters to learn about the process of being considered for a Confucius Institute on their campus. They also had a couple of meetings with the Chinese People's .Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) to discuss Chinese student recruitment strategies. They visited several universities and signed memorandums pledging to cooperate on student exchanges.
According to a program brochure on the HBCU-China Network from 2019:
★ Over 400 HBCU students have studied in China for at least 4 weeks since 2014
★ Over 350 HBCU students have participated in 2-week study programs in China
★ 11 Chinese universities in 7 provinces have hosted students participating in the program ★ 24 HBCUs in 16 American states have started the process and/or are in cooperation with Chinese universities
Julia Wilson has recently been named Interim Dean of the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University, a private HBCU in Hampton, Virginia. She has previously consulted for Hampton University on establishing a Confucius Institute.
In 2011, Wilson helped establish a Confucius institute at Xavier University of Louisiana, an historically black Catholic university in New Orleans, becoming the first HBCU to host a Confucius Institute. In 2016, it was awarded Confucius Institute of the Year at the Global Confucius Institute Conference in China. No doubt they provided something of serious value to the CCP to have had that award bestowed upon them. Are they at Xavier because it's a Catholic university? Or, because it sits less than five miles down the road from the Port of New Orleans? Who knows? It would certainly be worth knowing.
Savannah State University, another school in the HCBU-China Network, has reportedly closed their Confucius Institute.
Congressional Black Caucus
Another mission that Wilson Global Communications has been tasked with is arranging scholarships and study abroad opportunities in China for students in congressional districts held by members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
Wilson has facilitated meetings between the CBC and CUSEF representative as well as high-level Chinese government officials. In 2013, they met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong. Below are photos from the Wilson Global Communications website of these meetings. Also below are press releases from both the CBC and the Chinese Embassy in DC about these meetings.
In 2019, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) co-hosted an event at Clark Atlanta University with Alan Wong, a special advisor for CUSEF (see flyer below).
In the video below, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) congratulate Julia Wilson on her Outstanding Alumna Award from the University of Southern California. Wilson herself also brags about the HBCU-China Network "complements of the Chinese government."
National Urban League
Julia Wilson has also been active in forging a relationship between CUSEF and the National Urban League. (Photos from Wilson Global Communications website).
Just to see what side of the aisle Julia Wilson is affiliated with, a search of FEC contributions reveal she has contributed exclusively to Democrats. She contributed to the campaigns of Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Osoff of Georgia, the DNC, and the failed Senate campaign of current DNC Chair Jaime Harrison.
The relationship between HBCUs, the Congressional Black Caucus, the National Urban League, etc. is an obvious influence operation by the Chinese government. They are seeking to gain favor in minority communities in the United States to strengthen their image through soft power. However, it is just another example of how China has deliberately infiltrated our educational, cultural and political institutions. We need more vigilant citizens and fewer useful idiots.