President Joe Biden’s top leading candidate for ambassador to Israel hosted Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials as chairman of a think-tank known to be soft on China.
According to reports, Jack Lew, the leading candidate for the post, serves as chairman of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, known for supporting closer business and diplomatic ties between Washington and Beijing.
The committee is funded by companies with ties to China’s economy and government officials, including Citigroup, Blackstone, and BlackRock.
In January 2021, Lew took over the National Committee, hosting top CCP officials and meeting in Beijing with China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, who blamed America for creating the “root causes” of tension in the U.S.-China relationship.
Lew also engaged in a commemorative event organized by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, which conducts foreign influence operations for the CCP.
He served as Treasury secretary under President Obama.
According to reports, Lew has an appeasing approach in his dealings with CCP officials.
During a meeting in late June with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, Lew stated that the U.S. and China are interdependent and efforts to decouple America’s economy from China would fail.
In response to Lew’s comments, Chinese Foreign Minister Yi called on the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations to “continue to stabilize the China-U.S. relationship from deterioration, advance friendly exchanges, and disseminate true stories of mutually beneficial cooperation.”
Lew also spoke at a 2022 event organized by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, pledging that the committee would “continue to promote dialogue and exchanges among all sectors of society.”
In February 2021, CCP Politburo official Yang Jiechi said the U.S. was interfering in Chinese affairs and called on American officials not to “meddle” in human rights issues relating to Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
Jiechi also accused the U.S. of “harassing” Chinese students studying at American universities.
In response to his comments, Lew ignored them and explained that Yang had “raised several important areas that will require deeper exploration and further dialogue.”
Officials at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations often appear on Chinese state television to criticize American foreign policy toward China, ignoring Beijing’s human rights abuses and aggression.
Stephen Orlins, the Committee’s President, indicated that the U.S. is “overly hostile” to China and called the Trump administration’s tough stance toward Beijing a “four-year nightmare.”
According to reports, should Lew officially join the Biden administration, he would be one of many officials who have warmed up to the CCP and its international and domestic interests.
The current U.S. ambassador to Poland, Mark Brzezinski, was paid to speak at an event in 2019 for a Chinese Communist Party advisory panel, where he attacked elements within the U.S. for “demonizing” China.
While Lew’s position focuses primarily on the Middle East, experts say his views on American-Chinese relations would impact his actions, given that China has been growing its presence in the region, attempting to remove America’s longstanding influence.
Several months ago, China brokered an agreement between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Saudi Arabian government, striking a blow against America and its relationship with the Saudi monarchy, which has felt the cold-shoulder from the Biden administration.