A Chinese spy named Fang Fang or Christine Fang developed extensive ties with local and national American politicians, including a U.S. congressman, in what U.S. officials believe was a covert political intelligence operation run by China’s main civilian spy agency between 2011 and 2015. Through campaign fundraising, extensive networking, personal charisma, and romantic or sexual relationships with at least two Midwestern mayors, Fang was able to gain proximity to political power.
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Chinese Covert Operation
The covert operation offering a rare window into how Beijing has tried to gain access to and influence U.S. political circles was revealed in a yearlong investigation by Axios.
The woman at the center of the operation, a Chinese national named Fang Fang or Christine Fang, targeted up-and-coming local politicians in the Bay Area and across the country who had the potential to make it big on the national stage.
Through campaign fundraising, extensive networking, personal charisma, and romantic or sexual relationships with at least two Midwestern mayors, Fang was able to gain proximity to political power, according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials and one former elected official.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) targeted
Among the most significant targetsof Fang’s efforts was Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.).
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Fang took part in fundraising activity for Swalwell’s 2014 re-election campaign, according to a Bay Area political operative and a current U.S. intelligence official. Swalwell’s office was directly aware of these activities on its behalf, the political operative said. That same political operative, who witnessed Fang fundraising on Swalwell’s behalf, found no evidence of illegal contributions.
Fang helped place at least one intern in Swalwell’s office, according to those same two people, and interacted with Swalwell at multiple events over the course of several years.
Amid a widening counterintelligence probe, federal investigators became so alarmed by Fang’s behavior and activities that around 2015 they alerted Swalwell to their concerns — giving him what is known as a defensive briefing.
Swalwell immediately cut off all ties to Fang, according to a current U.S. intelligence official, and he has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
Who is Chinese Spy Fang Fang or Christine Fang
Fang’s friends and acquaintances said she was in her late 20s or early 30s when she was based in the U.S. and was enrolled as a student at a Bay Area university.
She used political gatherings, civic society conferences, campaign rallies, and campus events to connect with elected officials and other prominent figures, according to U.S. intelligence officials, Bay Area political operatives, former students, and current and former elected officials who knew her.
She also engaged in sexual or romantic relationships with at least two mayors of Midwestern cities over a period of about three years, according to one U.S. intelligence official and one former elected official.
At least two separate sexual interactions with elected officials, including one of these Midwestern mayors, were caught on FBI electronic surveillance of Fang, according to two intelligence officials. Axios was unable to identify or speak to the elected officials.
U.S. intelligence officials believe China’s spy services have become more aggressive and emboldened, including in their U.S.-focused influence and political intelligence-gathering operations. Fang’s case shows how a single determined individual, allegedly working for Beijing, can gain access to sensitive U.S. political circles.
How Chinese Intelligence cultivated Biden Family
Details of one such influence operation was published by GreatGameIndia on how the Chinese intelligence cultivated the Biden family. The intel report disclosed a detailed narration of important events and interactions which took place during meetings between the Biden family and Chinese tycoons. As a direct result of the elaborate influence operation China managed to steal America’s nuclear secrets. As part of the operation, Joe Biden also blocked the sale of Russian Cryogenic rocket engine technology to India describing it as being “dangerous”.
Recently, an undercover investigation by Benefit Fraud Task Force and ICE Homeland Security Investigations revealed how Chinese citizens infiltrate America.