Chinese influence campaigns target US state and local leaders

On July 6, 2022, the US National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) published a report warning  of influence operations conducted by the CCP’s United Front at the US state and local levels to advance the Chinese state’s political agenda. Influence campaigns included both overt means like public diplomacy, as well as covert means such as information collection on local leaders and their associates, or the weaponization of economic partnerships to incentivize pro-China behavior. The CCP used front groups such as the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, whose ostensible aim is to cultivate relationships between US localities and Beijing. The NCSC warned that the United Front sought to take advantage of US state and local leadersdesire for a “degree of independence from Washington” to use them as proxies to improve US economic cooperation with China, as well as to reduce criticism of China’s policies towards Taiwan, Tibetans, Uyghurs, and others.

China uses “United Front” work to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of the CCP. The CCP’s United Front Work Department (UFWD)—the agency responsible for coordinating these kinds of influence operations—mostly focuses on the management of potential opposition groups inside China, but it also has an important foreign influence mission.

About This Incident

Incident Metadata

Date: 6 July 2022
Country: United States
Source: Source Source 2