President Joe Biden’s appointee to represent the U.S. at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) formerly served as a member of an organization which experts have identified as a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intelligence front group, according to a spokesman from the company he leads.
Dominic Ng, CEO of East West Bank, served at an “executive-director level” in an “honorary position” at the China Overseas Exchange Association (COEA), yet allegedly withdrew from the organization in 2014 due to “non-participation,” according to statements an East West Bank spokesman made to American Banker on Friday. The statements were issued following a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation which found that Ng served as “executive director” at COEA between 2013 and 2017, before the banker began a five-year position with the same title of “executive director” at the related China Overseas Friendship Association (COFA) in 2019; both COEA and COFA have been identified by China experts as Chinese intelligence front groups.
Consequently, six Republican members of Congress led by Texas Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday demanding an investigation into Ng’s reported ties to the CCP. While characterizing recent scrutiny into Ng’s alleged CCP ties as “conspiracy theories,” the bank’s spokesman also denied Ng had ever been involved with COFA, according to the report.
“An individual with ties to Chinese intelligence front groups should be disqualified from public office,” Texas Republican Rep. Lance Gooden told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Monday. “If he has any integrity, Mr. Ng would step down until an investigation has time to occur.”
Multiple Chinese intelligence analysts, such as former CIA officer Nicholas Eftimiades, have identified both COEA and COFA, which merged in 2019, as front groups for the United Front Work Department (UFWD), a CCP agency overseeing both influence and intelligence operations, according to reports from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC).