President Joe Biden posed for a photo with a member of an alleged Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intelligence front group after delivering a speech on gun control this week, a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis of video footage of the event found.
Biden announced an executive order aimed at “increasing the number of background checks conducted before firearm sales” in Monterey Park, California, on Tuesday, before taking a photo with Ma “Derek” Shurong, Fox News’ footage from the event reveals. Ma is listed as a member of the China Overseas Exchange Association (COEA) between 2017 and 2019, according to the group’s website. Ma is listed as starting a five-year position with the related China Overseas Friendship Association (COFA) in 2019, the Daily Caller New Foundation recently revealed.
3/14/2023 – Monterey Park, CA
After @POTUS announced an exec. order on guns, he stopped to chat & take photos w/ Ma “Derek” Shurong pic.twitter.com/jVvJo3mAT3
— Philip Lenczycki 蔡岳 (@LenczyckiPhilip) March 17, 2023
In addition to COEA and COFA’s publicly available membership rosters, which both list Ma as a “director,” footage from Chinese state-run media outlet CCTV shows Ma in attendance at COEA’s Beijing council meeting on September 28, 2017, the DCNF determined.
Multiple Chinese intelligence experts recently told the DCNF that both COEA and COFA, which merged in 2019, serve the United Front Work Department (UFWD), a CCP “intelligence service” which conducts “influence operations” and “intelligence collection” abroad, according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC). (RELATED: Dem Rep Denies Membership In Orgs With Alleged Chinese Intel Ties, But Photos And Documents Suggest Otherwise)
At the Los Angeles rally, Biden moved through the crowd when he stopped and exchanged a few words with Ma and smiled while photos were taken, Fox News’ footage shows.
California Democratic Rep. Judy Chu also delivered a speech during Tuesday’s event, Fox News footage shows.
“It feels as though the attack on Monterey Park was an attack on Asian America,” Chu said in her speech, though she omitted the fact the Monterey Park shooting was perpetrated by an Asian man.
Chu recently came under scrutiny for her ties to alleged UFWD front groups and their respective members, including Ma. Since 2013, Chu has awarded Ma at least five certificates of “Congressional Recognition,” according to multiple Chinese-language news reports.
Between 2009 and 2022, Ma donated $3,975 to Chu, a time period which, in part, overlaps with Ma’s membership in both COEA and COFA, campaign finance records also show.
In October 2022, Ma donated $900 to Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass’ campaign, according to campaign finance records.
Ma also participated in a press conference with Bass and Rep. Chu on September 10, 2022, according to AMTV footage of the event. During the press conference, Ma stood smiling beside Bass while she promised to “increase the representation of Asians in the Los Angeles Police Department,” among other things.
Before Tuesday’s event in Monterey Park, Bass met Biden at LAX airport when he landed, NBC News reported.
Bass’ interactions with alleged UFWD front groups recently drew criticism after a Washington Free Beacon report revealed the Los Angeles mayor met with representatives from the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) in February. In 2020, the State Department designated CPAFFC as a UFWD “affiliate,” characterizing it as an organization “tasked with co-opting subnational governments” that seeks to “malignly influence state and local leaders to promote the [China’s] global agenda.”
During the February meeting with CPAFFC, Bass and the alleged front group’s president, Lin Songtian, reportedly discussed “stabilization and improvement of Sino-U.S. relations,” The Washington Free Beacon reported.
In addition to CPAFFC, Bass also has ties to alleged UFWD front group member Dominic Ng, the CEO of East West Bank. Bass appointed Ng an honorary co-chair of her Mayoral Transition Advisory Team on Dec. 6, according to the City of Los Angeles’ website.
Similar to Ma, Ng was listed as the “executive director” of COEA between 2013 and 2017 and was listed as holding the same title at COFA beginning in 2019, the DCNF reported on Feb. 9.
An East West Bank spokesman claimed that Ng merely served in an “honorary” position at the “executive-director level” at COEA, and left in 2014 citing “non-participation.” East West Bank also claimed that Ng “was later invited to join” COFA, yet “declined the invitation and was not aware his name was listed as a member on the association’s website until revealed by the recent media coverage,” according to a Feb. 25 statement from the bank.
As with Ma, Ng donated $1,500 to Karen Bass for Mayor 2022, campaign finance records show.
Ng also donated $100,000 to the Biden Victory Fund and $35,500 to the Democratic National Committee in 2020, the year before Biden appointed the banker to serve as U.S. representative to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), according to campaign finance records.
The White House, Chu and Bass did not respond immediately to the DCNF’s request for comment. Ma didn’t respond to a request for comment.
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