A Chinese-American fundraiser for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has hit back at claims that he’s a promoter for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), saying he has disavowed the regime since immigrating to the United States more than two decades ago.
Earlier this year Xinyue “Daniel” Lou found himself caught up in the controversy surrounding Florida spa owner Cindy Yang, who marketed access to Trump and his family members through selling visits to the Mar-a-Lago club, and has ties to the CCP.
Yang and Lou were photographed together at a “Safari Night” fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago in early 2018. The event was hosted by Trump’s sister Elizabeth Trump Grau. Lou told The Epoch Times that that night was the first time he had met Yang and he’s never had a business relationship with the Florida woman.
Yang’s spokesperson had earlier told the Miami Herald that the two did not have a personal relationship.
The publication had accused Lou, who owns a New York-based consultancy named Long Innovations International Group Inc, of being a “promoter for the Chinese Communist Party” prior to him taking a position as a volunteer fundraiser for Trump’s reelection bid in April 2018.
Lou dismissed those claims, saying he is openly anti-communist. He added that he shares so much information critical of the CCP in his WeChat groups, a popular Chinese social media app similar to Facebook, that he fears he has been blacklisted by the regime.
“I have never been a Party member. I don’t have a mandate from any [Chinese] Communist Party organization or governmental agency,” Lou said.
Lou became a naturalized U.S. citizen more than ten years ago. He moved to New York City from China in 1993. In China, Lou was a reporter at Chinese state-run newspaper the Beijing Review after graduating from Peking University in the 1980s. He said that at the time almost all college graduates ended up working within the state apparatus.
However, Lou had plans to leave the country even before graduating from university. Due to his involvement in a pro-democracy student movement in 1986, he was banned from becoming a member of the CCP, a prerequisite for upward mobility in Chinese society. He later participated in the large-scale democracy protests of 1989 that led to the violent suppression of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
So he waited and finally got his chance when he was accepted into Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 1993. After he graduated, he worked for seven years as a journalist in New York City for World Journal, an overseas Chinese language newspaper.
In 2013, Lou founded Long Innovations. The company’s Chinese website says it provides “consulting and project management services,” which promotes “cross-culture, cross-border communications, innovations, and ventures.”
The businessman admitted that he developed a company program designed for Chinese business elites to visit the United States, including a trip to Mar-a-Lago, set for April 2018.
But the venture yielded no buyers, and the trip did not end up taking place, Lou said. Shortly after, the U.S.-China trade war kicked off, causing his China-focused business to collapse.
“My business was in financial distress,” he said, adding the company did not turn in any revenue last year.
Despite Lou being personally harmed by the ongoing trade war, he still supports Trump’s tough approach tackling the regime’s unfair trade practices.
“The tariffs are working,” Lou said, to pressure the Chinese regime.
“I don’t think that kind of unbalanced [trade] relationship [with China] can be sustained,” he added.
Lou acknowledged that while he was previously “friendly to the regime,” he changed his stance in the past year as a result of two events: the onset of the trade war, and learning about allegations of corruption at the top levels of the Chinese communist leadership as described by fugitive dissident Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui (also known as Miles Kwok), who regularly vlogs on YouTube.
The Miami Herald report also alleged that Lou had ties to the CCP by citing the fact that he hosted a 2017 conference at Trump World Tower in New York. The Herald said the conference was attended by Chinese officials and promoted investment projects tied to the “One Belt, One Road” initiative (OBOR), the regime’s massive infrastructure investment policy aimed at connecting Europe, Africa, and Asia via a network of ports, railways and roads.
But Lou said he was asked by a Chinese-Canadian whom he had previously met once before to host the function, and did not use it to promote OBOR. Lou agreed to invite some of his friends to the event thinking it could open up business opportunities. However, those opportunities did not materialize for his friends and he did not maintain contact with any of the organizers of the event.
He also admits to accepting an interview in 2016 with a Chinese state-media outlet about OBOR during which he said the project could be “mutually beneficial” to the United States and China. The plan has been criticized by U.S. officials and experts for saddling developing countries with debt, while strengthening the regime’s military and economic influence worldwide.
Lou said that since learning about the negative aspects of OBOR, he now does not support it.
The Herald also said Lou attended a gala in Aug. 2016 held at Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army. Lou admitted that he attended but said he was not invited directly by the embassy, but rather by a friend.
Having lived under a communist regime and worked within its apparatus, Lou said he has fully embraced American values and ideas.
“The Chinese Communist Party is the ultimate enemy to the freedom of press, freedom of faith, freedom of assembly,” he said.
As a reporter in Beijing, Lou witnessed communist repression first hand on the night of June 3, 1989, when scores of unarmed students were slaughtered by the Chinese military at Tiananmen Square. He was covering the event and managed to find a safe spot behind a wall at the border of the square to observe what happened.
“It was bloody,” he said. “I saw people get hit by bullets Chang’an Avenue [the street near Tiananmen Square].
“I heard bullets fly.”
Lou was never able to file his report of that evening’s bloodshed, as the military took over the media after the crackdown.
Now that Lou lives in a free society, he feels compelled to speak out about the CCP’s threats to the free world, adding that the CCP’s authoritarian rule goes against human nature—the “pursuit of liberty and happiness.”