Concerning connections to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) exist with an elected representative to the Texas Legislature.
For the past few weeks, as part of our months-long investigation, Texas Scorecard has been exposing CCP infiltration into our state’s education apparatus, our land, and this week our political network.
The need to know of these efforts has increased as tensions rise between the United States and the so-called “People’s Republic” of China.
CCP infiltration of Texas’ political network has been done through political donations, surveillance, political connections, and building relationships with local governments and state level public servants. This is being done as part of the CCP’s overall infiltration efforts of America and the Western world.
In Texas, one elected official and his wife have numerous connections to the CCP: State Rep. Gene Wu (D–Houston).
It is important to note that the CCP oppresses the Chinese people, among them freedom fighters like Joshua Wong, the young Hong Kong man who stood up against Beijing-based tyranny. There are also many of Chinese descent who oppose the CCP, like Gordon G. Chang, who has written profusely about the threat the land of his ancestors, puppeted by the disciples of Mao Zedong, poses to the West, and the world.
Last, but not least, in Texas we have Chinese refugee Bob Fu, who escaped to our nation after facing religious persecution by the CCP in his homeland in the late 1990s. As president of ChinaAid in Midland, Fu and his organization work to “expose the systemic persecution” of Christians and human rights lawyers in China, while also offering aid and assistance to the persecuted.
What Texas Scorecard focuses on when examining CCP relationships with individuals or groups are facts and connections.
Born in China, Representative Wu was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2012. Before then he was a prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. He currently has his own private practice. According to a Ballotpedia profile, for the past five years, Wu has been a volunteer and trainer for Neighborhood Centers, where he conducts monthly workshops helping people become American citizens. He is married to ABC 13 reporter Miya Shay.
In the last legislative session, Speaker of the House Dade Phelan (R–Beaumont) appointed him to the Appropriations Committee, Appropriations Subcommittee on Public and Higher Education, and the Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee.
Since being elected, Wu is best known for outrageous social media posts, and has for years drawn attention for his public support for the Communist Oppressor-ship in his homeland. As such, he often takes to social media to argue against policies that prioritize American interests ahead of other nations.
Ties With CCP Consulate
On July 25, 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the Chinese Consulate in Houston. This followed orders from the federal government for the consulate to shut down just three days earlier, stating this diplomatic center was actually a front operation for espionage by the CCP.
In the hours after the consulate was ordered closed, consulate staff were caught burning documents.
Coincidentally, this was the first Chinese consulate opened in the U.S. in 1979, the same year the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act was enacted.
The now closed consulate, according to Google Maps, is roughly 8 miles away from Wu’s private legal practice.
Going back in time just a bit, we found Wu and the Consulate were quite familiar with each other. The Consulate published a press release in March 2013 praising Wu. Photographed are then-Consul General Xu Erwen with Wu and his wife, Miya Shay.
Roughly translated by Google, the press release states “Xu spoke positively of Wu’s efforts to promote the development of Sino-US relations and the pragmatic cooperation and exchanges between Texas and China since he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. There is huge potential for cooperation between the two countries in various fields.”
I hope that Congressman [sic] Wu Yuanzhi will give full play to his unique advantage of being familiar with the situation of China and the United States, and contribute to deepening local exchanges and cooperation between China and the United States, and enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.
Twitter account SavingAmerica4U found another photo of Xu, Wu, and Shay together, this time with current Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis (D). There is no timestamp on the photo, though Xu’s time as Consul General in Houston was from 2011 to 2014, and since was sent to New Zealand and later Croatia. From 1990 to 2016, Ellis was a state senator.
We asked Commissioner Ellis’ office when this photo was taken, and gave them an opportunity to confirm or deny if this is him, and to comment on the photo. No response was received before publication. As previously reported by Texas Scorecard, Ellis is at the center of Harris County’s political power structure.
According to China Daily, an English-Language daily newspaper owned by the Publicity Department of the Chinese Communisty Party, when Li Qiangmin assumed the office of Chinese Consul General in Houston in May 2014, Wu was also present and made remarks. A month earlier, he attended the farewell bash for Xu.
Three years later, Wu boasted he had dinner with Li, where they discussed exporting American Liquid Natural Gas to China.
Fast forward to 2020 and the allegations of espionage, Twitter account SavingAmerica4U documented Wu’s strong opposition to American counter-espionage measures against the Chinese Consulate in Houston.
A citizen confronted Wu about his statement, alleging he is allied with the CCP. The screenshot SavingAmerica4U shared showed Wu’s response.
Wu’s wife, Miya Shay, also fit into this picture. After the federal government ordered the consulate’s closure, she was granted an exclusive interview with Chinese Consul General Cai Wei. Responding to now deleted comments on Twitter, Shay appeared to be defending CCP espionage. “Everyone spies,” she wrote repeatedly.
Contact with Cai was not limited to Shay. In January of 2020, Wu held a press conference with him, praising China President Xi Jinping’s efforts in fighting the Chinese Coronavirus.
Later, in March of 2020, as concerns about the virus took hold in Texas, and public servants at all levels issued draconian lockdown measures, Wei spoke with Wu, along with other Houston area Democrat politicians, about the response in Houston.
This followed Cai’s February 2020 press conference praising Xi Jinping’s efforts in fighting the virus. Wu was in attendance, as was Congressman Al Green (D–TX).
More Suspicious Ties
In June of 2015, Wu boasted that he welcomed China’s Vice-Premier Liu Yandong to Texas in a speech at the Asia Society.
As previously reported by Texas Scorecard, The Asia Society started a Confucius Classrooms Network in partnership with a CCP government agency, through which they established classrooms across the country, including in Texas. Confucius Classrooms, like their sibling Confucius Institutes, are trojan horses the CCP developed to infiltrate our state’s, and nation’s, K-12 school district apparatus.
This was not the only time Wu was found adjacent to such efforts. In October 2016, he commented positively on the Houston Independent School District’s newest campus, Mandarin Immersion Magnet School (MIMS). “It’s the welcoming spirit of a school like this; it’s this type of embrace of everyone from every walk of life and every culture that is drawing people to our city.”
MIMS appeared to be connected to Houston ISD’s Confucius Institute (CI).
Indeed, Wu is a very public supporter of more educational connections with China.
Another concerning indirect tie to the CCP is the Chinese Community Center of Houston (CCCH). Wu is on their advisory board.
On the CCCH’s consulting board is Dr. Yali Zou, who also happens to be on the Board of Advisors of the apparently CCP-friendly George H.W. Bush Foundation for U.S. China Relations. The foundation biography of Dr. Zou states she is an “university endowed professor for Global Leadership Studies at the University of Houston,” and directs the university’s Asian American Studies Center. Her biography goes on to state she is “an honorary guest professor at numerous universities in China.”
Of such universities, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) had information on Beijing Normal University (BNU). It is ranked low risk due to its “limited involvement in defence [sic] research,” but it does have “secret level security credentials,” and helped start the now closed Confucius Institute at Oklahoma University. As previously reported, CI’s are part of the CCP’s goal to increase their influence worldwide.
Last May, ASPI found BNU and the University of North Texas extended their multi-year partnership, “which will result in a joint lab focused on smart learning technologies.”
CCCH has another indirect CCP tie. They were one of the 2018 sponsors of the Chinese American Relief Effort (CARE). One of CARE’s Gold Sponsors was the Consulate General of the “People’s Republic” of China in Houston.
There’s also the East West Bank (EWB). In 2016, EWB opened new regional offices in Houston. As with other China backed endeavors in the Houston area, Wu attended the event.
The chairman of East West Bank, Dominic Ng, was selected by President Joe Biden to represent U.S. business interests in Asia earlier this year. It is through Ng that we find this bank has a significant tie to Beijing.
Chairman Ng is reportedly a member of the Committee of 100, an activist group of Chinese Americans that has been a promoter of the CCP’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI). In March 2016, they “hosted an invite-only breakfast at the U.S. Capitol building” promoting BRI.
What is BRI? It is a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the CCP in 2013. According to the American Enterprise Institute, “BRI is an audacious program of lending, aid and infrastructure contracts totaling over $880 billion.” Nikkei Asia reports that the program “includes pledges to 149 countries, aims to promote Chinese-led regional integration — and sew economic dependence on Beijing.”
The planned development of a Chinese wind farm in South Texas was reportedly part of this endeavor.
Wu shows up elsewhere, helping to form more economic ties to the CCP and its proxies. In December 2017, he was part of a 71 member Houston delegation to China, consisting of public servants like Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, businessmen, and “community leaders.” Wu publicly admitted in 2019 that his wife joined him on the trip as well.
China Daily, a CCP propaganda arm, reported that during the trip “possible collaboration in the fields of healthcare, energy, engineering, education, finance, aeronautics and other key areas was [sic] explored. A series of official memoranda of understanding expressing specific plans to widen commerce with China were signed.”
The CCP controlled the media reporting on the trip in December of 2017, and through their headline pushed a narrative that Houston would benefit from this China visit.
A year later, Wu bemoaned President Trump’s newly announced tariffs on China. In his argument, Wu highlighted the CCP infiltration into our state’s commerce.
The strength of this infiltration is confirmed by the taxpayer-funded Texas Economic Development Corporation. “Examples of Chinese companies operating in Texas include Catapult Systems and Nexen Petroleum. Other Chinese companies in Texas operate across diverse sectors including electronics, information technology, manufacturing and petroleum products,” TEDC states. “Cumulative foreign direct investment from January 2011 – December 2019 included 30 projects, with $2,813 million in capital investment and 4,029 jobs created by 27 companies.” TEDC also reports that Texas 2019 exports to China were more than $11 billion, including commodities like “mineral fuel, oil, industrial machinery, electric machinery, plastics and organic chemicals.” Imports that same year were measured at more than $33 billion.
Texas Scorecard will further investigate CCP infiltration into our state’s commerce arena next.
Additional tweets by Wu shed more light on how ingrained the CCP is in Texas’ energy infrastructure.
In fact, Wu boasted in 2014 he visited the nation’s capital to push through changing the export restriction on Liquid Natural Gas from Free Trade Agreement to World Trade Organization membership. This would open China up to American LNG exports. “Energy is an important issue for Houston, and it’s important for Texas and China. We try very hard to make sure to bridge the gap between Texas and China and wish to do more business with each other,” Wu said in 2014 about his work on the Texas House Energy Committee. He told this to China Daily USA, a propaganda arm of the CCP, in their puff piece pushing Wu during his re-election bid.
Wu also has been vocal in his support for the CCP’s push for unreliable green energy.
All of these incidents, connections, and comments raise concerns about Rep. Wu and his proximity to state and local power.
This April 30, a citizen shared SavingAmeric4U’s documentation of Wu on Twitter, and called for Speaker of the Texas House Phelan (R), Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), to Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to investigate.
Texas Scorecard repeatedly contacted Wu’s office, offering him an opportunity to comment on our findings. No response was received.
Texas Scorecard repeatedly contacted Phelan’s office, offering him an opportunity to review and comment on the matter. No response was received before publication time.
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