The United Front Work Department (UFWD) is the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) organ tasked with co-opting and neutralizing threats to the party’s rule and spreading its influence and propaganda overseas. The CCP regards this party apparatus as a “magic weapon” to advance Beijing’s policies.
Today, the Department of State designated a UFWD-controlled organization – the National Association for China’s Peaceful Unification (NACPU) – as a foreign mission of the PRC under the U.S. Foreign Missions Act. The goal of this action is to shine a light on this organization and make clear that their messages come from Beijing, as we did when we designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center (CIUS) as a foreign mission in August.
In addition to the NACPU, the UFWD has other affiliates seeking to spread Beijing’s malign influence in the United States. We are discontinuing participation in the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People’s Republic of China Concerning the Establishment of the U.S-China Governors Forum to Promote Sub-National Cooperation (MOU), signed on January 19, 2011. The MOU supported the creation of a U.S.-China National Governors Forum. Following the signing of the MOU, however, Chinese Peoples’ Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) a Beijing-based organization tasked with co-opting subnational governments, has sought to directly and malignly influence state and local leaders to promote the PRC’s global agenda. CPAFFC’s actions have undermined the Governors Forum’s original well-intentioned purpose.
Authentic people-to-people exchanges are crucial for establishing understanding between cultures, but the UFWD is not a vehicle for people-to-people exchange. Instead, it uses front organizations like the NACPU to advance the PRC’s propaganda and malign influence. Our actions today move us a step closer toward a relationship with the PRC based on transparency and reciprocity.