Chinese Asylum Seekers’ Protest Not What it Seems

February 2, 2012 Updated: February 9, 2012

NEW YORK—On the morning of Jan. 23, the first day of the Chinese New Year, the Fukien American Association in Chinatown held a silent protest claiming that U.S. Immigration rejects too many Chinese asylum seekers. In the afternoon of the same day, the Fukien American Association feted as their guest of honor the Chinese deputy consul general, who represents the regime responsible for causing Chinese to flee their homeland and seek asylum.

A member of the association, Mr. Chen, described the protest as “self-contradictory.”

The protest was held outside the U.S. Court of Appeals. Deputy Consul General Dong Xiaojun attended the association’s Chinese New Year Firecrackers Arts Festival, with the association’s president, Kenneth Cheng, also in attendance.

According to the protesters, only 1 percent of Chinese asylum seekers are accepted, compared to 13 percent from all other nationalities.

A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokesperson could not confirm or deny these rates but provided related stats: China was the leading country of nationality for people who were granted asylum in 2010, making up 31.7 percent of all successful applicants, according to immigration statistics from the Department of Homeland Security. A total of 21,113 people were granted asylum in 2010, with 6,683 of these originating from China.

The deputy consul general’s attendance at the New Year’s Day party is not unusual. The Fukien Association maintains a close relationship with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It hosts Chinese officials when they visit the United States, celebrates the birthday of the party openly, and the consul general attends major events hosted by the association.

Association member Chen, who preferred to give only his last name, says he knows asylum seekers in the Fukien Association who still have close ties to the Chinese regime and do its bidding.

“Applying for asylee status means that you are against the Communist Party, but if you still have connections with the CCP, why would [the federal government] grant your application?” said Chen.

Lu Dong, a resident of New York City, quit the CCP in 2006. He had formerly been the director of China Overseas Friendship Association and in that capacity he said he worked closely with the upper ranks of the CCP hierarchy.

Lu thinks the association’s protest was not really complaining about the number of Chinese granted asylum, but instead served one of the CCP’s goals: “to smear mud on U.S. judicial institutions.”

Alienating the Chinese Population

According to Lu, the CCP seeks to increase the alienation of Chinese living in the United States. The accusation that U.S. Immigration discriminates against Chinese has this effect.

Lu provided as an example of this tactic the behavior of Chinese-language media when the FBI investigated Comptroller John Liu’s mayoral campaign fund for fraud. The Chinese-language media charged that Liu was a victim of discrimination. The newspapers making this charge have been described in an article in the journal China Brief as either owned by the CCP or heavily influenced by it.

Chinese who are alienated from the United States are more willing to do the CCP’s bidding.

Paul D. Moore, the FBI’s chief Chinese intelligence analyst from 1978 to 1998, explained how such alienation benefits the Chinese regime’s efforts at spying in the United States:

“The [Chinese] intelligence professionals want their Chinese-American target simply to perceive himself as more Chinese than American and to come to see that he has a special duty to help his ancestral land somehow, some day,” writes Moore in a 1999 L.A. Times article.

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