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Conservatives Demand Resignation of C.I.A. Director Burns for Lying Over Ties to C.C.P. Influence Op

The conservative leaders at the Committee on the Present Danger: China (CPDC) have long warned about the use by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of “unrestricted warfare”

techniques to achieve the destruction of the United States as part of Xi Jinping’s goal of dominating the world.


Efforts mounted by the CCP’s intelligence services and United Front Work Department to subvert us from within are among the most insidious of such techniques.


It is, therefore, particularly worrying that the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns, was not only involved in facilitating what he has acknowledged were “Chinese influence operations” during his previous incarnation as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In sworn testimony during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, however, the nominee falsely declared that, shortly after taking that job, he had ended such cooperation.


An article published by The National Pulse on April 30, 2021 makes clear that the Carnegie Endowment’s involvement with Chinese influence operators and their form of subversive warfare persisted throughout his tenure:


“Burns became president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in March 2015 and claimed, during Senate confirmation hearings, that he merely ‘inherited’ the think tank’s longstanding relationship with the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF).


“CUSEF is part of the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department, which seeks ‘to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party’ and ‘influence foreign governments to take actions or adopt positions supportive of Beijing’s preferred policies,’ according to the U.S. government.


“Purporting to be ‘increasingly worried about the expansion of Chinese influence operations,’ Burns, who currently leads the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was adamant [before the Senate that] he cut Carnegie’s ties with CUSEF ‘not long after’ he began his tenure.”


In fact, the National Pulse establishes that William Burns allowed the Carnegie Endowment to continue collaborating with a Chinese think tank until 2021 in a three-year project funded by CUSEF.


Worse yet, as an open letter sent Monday to President Biden signed by nearly two-dozen members of the Committee on the Present Danger: China makes clear, Mr. Burns allowed Zhang Yichin, a prominent CCP influence operator whose day job is CEO of a Chinese state-owned enterprise known as CITIC Capital Holdings, to become a member of the Carnegie Endowment’s Board of Trustees in 2016. And contributions by Mr. Zhang to the Endowment worth over a million dollars helped underwrite on Mr. Burns’ watch the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center. The Center is a joint venture with the PRC’s top military academic entity, Tsinghua University, that the Australian Strategic Policy Institute rates as “high-risk” for its research on behalf of the People’s Liberation Army, cyberattacks against, among others, the United States and its support of China’s “military-civil fusion” strategy.


As the CPDC signatories put it: “In our view, these relationships should have precluded an individual from holding even a basic security clearance, let alone serving in so sensitive a position as the leader of America’s preeminent intelligence organization.”


For all these reasons, the Committee on the Present Danger: China urges President Biden to “ask immediately for the resignation of William Burns as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.”


Americans are encouraged to add their voices to this appeal by signing the petition calling for Mr. Biden to fire Director Burns. We’ve signed, and we urge CHQ readers and friends to do the same.


  • Chinese Communist Party

  • COVID-19

  • C.I.A. Director Willliam Burns

  • Influence Operations

  • Committee on the Present Danger: China (CPDC)

  • unrestricted warfare

  • United Front Work Department

  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

  • China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF)

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