More than 2.5 months has passed. Committee of 100, C-100, is still playing dead.
As you know, a group of 30+ China hands published a Hoover Institute, H.I.,article basically accusing, with direct evidence, C-100 and some of its members as being duped by the Chinese government, thereby possibly endangering U.S. interests. Here are the exact words of accusation:
"The Chinese embassy also targets prominent Chinese Americans through the
Committee of 100, an organization of the most elite Chinese Americans in the United States. Committee members report significant pressure from the Chinese consulate on committee members to toe the Party line. Some prominent Committee members
are openly sympathetic to the goals of the Chinese Communist Party. One of them is George Koo, who in addition to serving in a senior position on the committee is also listed as an 'overseas director of the China Overseas Friendship Association, based in Beijing."
At the 2 month point, 80-20 EF couldn't stand C-100's silence or timidity anymore. EF viewed the H.I. article as a possible attempt to intimidate the Chinese American community, but wanted to know facts and the truth. So EF president Woo wrote the 2 co-chairs of the H.I. article and requested evidence for its accusations or to retract the accusations and apologize to C-100 and our community. At the same time, EF publicly called on C-100 to "either deny that allegation or promise the Asian American community to stop such interference from China henceforth."
The H.I. group responded positively, C-100 remained silent
The H.I. co-chairs responded. Dr. Schell replied frequently. He also told Woo about a "friendly dinner" scheduled between the H.I. group and some members of C-100, which should have transpireda few days ago, although C-100 is still silent. The 2 Co-Chairs plus John Pomfret sent Woo H.I.'s evidence against George Koo (see footnote), which he forwarded to Koo to answer. Koo has responded to the initial and second allegations against him via published articles. Click 1 and 2.
The jury is still out. EF, as an 'interested bystander", is not impressed with the arguments of either side. However, it is up to the accusers to make its allegations stick. Hence, EF is leaning against the H.I. article at this point.
Why is C-100 still silent?
Publicly accused must be publicly answered. I contacted Frank Wu, who is a paid President of C-100, 3 times without getting a word back from him. What kind of an organization is C-100 nowadays? In earlier days, it was a "do nothing" organization. It organized a fancy gala each year where some of its members acted like peacocks. I resigned from it decades ago. Now that US-China relations are souring, and the H.I. article is implying that it is duped by the Chinese government and possibly endangering the U.S. interests, its long silence is damaging the Asian-/Chinese-Am community severely.
Have the courage to either admit mistake or confront your accusers, C-100. Take your mission on improving U.S.-China relations seriously. Step up to serve our
PS: (1) EF gratefully acknowledges a $10,000 donation from C. P. Lee Living Trust in memory of Mr. & Mrs. Fung-Hwa Lee & Chuan-Pu (C.P.) Lee.
(2) EF further gratefully acknowledges its 375 donors to the SELF project, who having fulfilled their respective pledges to donate $x/yr. for 5 yrs, continue to donate $x/yr. or more, year after years. You are truly role models.
You give EF the assets to fight for your rights and call spade a spade.
Footnote (The following is NOT available via a linkage on web.):
Dear Mr Woo:
This is in reply to your original message of December 29. In it you raised the issue of including George Koo's name in a footnote in the report. Mr. Koo is entitled to his opinions and throughout the report, we stress the necessity of protecting First Amendment rights in the face of Chinese efforts to manipulate American public opinion.
In Mr. Koo's case, he has written extensively on US-China relations. He is an occasional columnist on a Chinese state-run news website called guancha.cn. We heartily support his First Amendment Rights.
What is controversial (and this is within the Chinese-American community, not simply among those who wrote the report) is the participation of some Americans in organizations that were founded and are directed by the Chinese Communist Party. The goals of these organizations such as the Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China, the Chinese Overseas Exchange Association and the China Overseas Friendship Association are to carry out state policy of the PRC and to sway public opinion in foreign countries to be more favorable to the PRC. We believe these organizations function no differently than lobbying organizations and, along with their participants, should register as agents of a foreign government.
Throughout the report, sources in a variety of sectors spoke with us on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issues. We are respecting their wishes.
If you intend to broadly distribute our reply here, we ask you to distribute the entire message and not quote selectively from it.
Larry Diamond, Orville Schell, and John Pomfret
P.S. As an addendum to this letter allow us to include a few more details on Mr. Koo that we did not put in the report.
Mr. Koo is a participant in at least three United Front Organizations. He has served an advisor to the Australian Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China since it was founded in Australia. [http://www.acpprc.org.au/schinese/ben.asp]. As you know the council was established by the United Front Work Department in 1988 in Beijing and has chapters throughout the world. It essentially functions as a lobbying wing of the United Front Work Department to convince foreigners that Taiwan should be united with China.
Mr. Koo, as was noted in the report, has served on the council of the China Overseas Friendship Association. He also has served on the council of the China Overseas Exchange Association [http://www.coea.org.cn/472/2013/1014/221.html]. Both of those organizations are run by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council and get their direction from the Chinese Communist Party. Last spring the OCAO was merged into the United Front Work Department as part of the PRC's efforts to streamline its overseas lobbying work. Among his many trips to China, Mr. Koo was the guest of the UFWD on a 2008 trip where he met with senior United Front officials. The Chinese news report of Mr. Koo's trip -- http://iqte.cssn.cn/ky/xsjl/201608/t20160824_3174774.shtml-- implied that Mr. Koo's travel to and in China was paid for by the Chinese government.
The following is an email I received from Dr. Larry Diamond on December 29, 2018 at 8:19:23 PM EST.
"Dear Mr. Woo, I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your message. Given that it is now the holiday season, you should expect to receive a substantive reply within a week. (emphasis aded)
Sincerely, Larry Diamond"
I can understand that holidays could delay things a bit. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to hearing from your colleagues soon.
One of the Co-chairs replied within hours with positive News
"Mr. Woo: Forgive our tardiness. With the holidays and then two of our "working group" members ending up in the hospital on unwelcome trips, we are a little behind. But, should have you a response very shortly. Will also bemeeting with some members of the Committee of 100 this week for a friendly dinner. All best wishes for the new year. Orville Schell" (emphasis aded)
Will C-100 Clarify Or Stand Up, After the "Friendly Dinner"?
C-100's focus is U.S.-China relations. Its apparent weakness is its collective timidity and lack of substance. It doesn't dare to speak out when called for. Examples are (1) its silence when US-China relations are rapidly deteriorating, and (2) its silence after 9 weeks of having its integrity publicly questioned by footnote 20, Section 3 of a Hoover Institute (H.I.) article entitled "Chinese Influence & American Interests: Promoting Constructive Vigilance". That footnote stated (emphasis added):
"The Chinese embassy also targets prominent Chinese Americans through theCommittee of 100, an organization of the most elite
Chinese Americans in the United States. Committee members report significant pressure from the Chinese consulate on committee
members to toe the Party line. Some prominent Committee members
are openly sympathetic to the goals of the Chinese Communist Party.
One of them is George Koo, who in addition to serving in a senior
position on the committee is also listed as an 'overseas director' of the China Overseas Friendship Association, based in Beijing."
Now that members of C-100 and the H.I. article group will be having "a friendly dinner," whether stimulated by 80-20 EF's upright action or not, EF will become an interested bystander, like all of you. Let the two sides directly filter out the truth.
Were the allegations correct? If so, C-100 may need to publicly declare to the Chinese-Am community that it'll henceforth aggressively prevent such interference by the Chinese embassy. If not, the H.I. group may need to retract the above statement and apologizeto C-100, particularly to George Koo*, and to the Chinese American community for using McCarthy era scare tactics to intimidate Chinese Americans from speaking out in US foreign policy matters.
C-100 members like to pat each other on the shoulders for their financial success. We admire their successes. However, as JFK had advocated "To those whom much is given, much is expected." We look to C-100 to clarify this matter and henceforthSTEP UP!