NEW YORK—The recently arrested fundraiser for City Comptroller John Liu serves in an executive position for two Chinatown organizations linked to Fujian Province, China, that have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). One of the organizations is also linked to organized crime.
The arrest on Nov. 16 of Pan Xinwu for illegally raising funds for New York City Comptroller John Liu’s election bid calls attention to Liu’s own financial dependence on the Fujianese groups since at least 2007, when they raised tens of thousands of dollars for his comptroller bid.
The group doing most of the heavy lifting during 2007 and 2008 was the Fukien Benevolent Association of America, commonly known simply as the Fukien American Association (FAA). Pan Xinwu is the executive vice chairman of that group, according to Chinese media reports.
On July 10, 2007, the FAA raised $36,000 for Liu, according to the pro-communist newspaper China Press. The following year on July 20 the same group raised at least $70,000, according to World Journal, another Chinese newspaper.
The day after the arrest, China Press explained that Pan Xinwu has helped raise money for John Liu in the Chinese community for “a long time,” and also has forged connections between the Liu campaign and the Chinese community.
He’s done the same for other campaigns, too, the piece says.
According to Chinese media, Pan is also the executive vice chairman of the United Fujianese American Association (UFAA), which has taken a low profile since earlier this year.
Both groups are strongly pro-Beijing.
The FAA was founded in 1942, before communist domination of the mainland. It later fell under Beijing’s sway. The group now notes on its website that the association “firm and unyielding, openly stands on the front line of the battle, and has become a crack force in Chinatown opposing independence and pushing unification.”
The last part refers to combating attempts by Taiwan to become an independent state, and instead promoting its assimilation into communist China.
The website notes that the association does battle with “anti-China forces,” protects the reputation of the homeland, and has received high acclaim from the Chinese regime.
The other group, the UFAA, was founded in New York state in 1990. Its website is no longer online, but there is a record of the site stored on Oct. 17, 2010, in the Internet Archive.
The About Us section indicates that it engages primarily in political activities supporting officials of and positions taken by the CCP. Highlights include dispatching 300 members to rally for Party chief Hu Jintao when he visited Harvard University in 2006, organizing an Olympic Torch activity in celebration of the Beijing Olympics in 2008, “resolutely opposing” President Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama in 2009, and “strongly criticizing” the Dalai Lama and his “splitter activities.”
On Taiwan, the UFAA also follows the Party line. The organization says it has “made an active contribution” to opposing Taiwanese independence. The activities page is dominated by pro-communist political exercises.
Liu has ties with yet another Fujianese group, called the Fujian Consolidated Benevolent Association USA (FCBA). Liu appears the most of any elected official standing with the head of that group, Chairman Yu, in the organization’s photo gallery.
The FCBA registered as a nonprofit only in August of 2009, according to state records, and appears to function more directly on behalf of the CCP than the others. For instance, when Hu Jintao visited New York City in 20011, the FCBA organized the welcome group that greeted him.
The Fujianese organizations Liu has been linked to are known as “Tongs,” and function as consolidated groups representing, or appearing to represent, overseas Chinese communities.
They are assiduously cultivated by Communist Party officials, and over the years have become channels for the regime to exert influence overseas. Zhong Guiren, chairman of the Returned Overseas Chinese Federation in the Dongcheng District of Beijing, detailed his work in this regard in a testimonial on the website of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office on Sept. 26, 2006.
He writes: “In the past, the leaders of the Chinese organizations and associations in New York City’s Chinatown were all pro-Taiwan; now they have tilted toward mainland China, and they have increasingly agreed to a peaceful reunification of China and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
The leading expert on Chinese gangs, author and Rutgers professor Ko-lin Chin, told The Epoch Times in an earlier interview “Once that organization, the Fukien American Association, became one of the leading [China]-supported organizations, they became the host of almost all these Chinese officials who are visiting New York.”
In the 1990s the president of the FAA was regularly referred to by media as the “commander-in-chief of illegal smuggling.”
The FAA is also affiliated with the Fuk Ching gang, according to a report from the National Institute for Justice (NIJ), a branch of the U.S. Department of Justice. The Fuk Ching gang is known for human trafficking, extortion, protection rackets, prostitution, and slavery of illegal immigrants, according to the NIJ.