Is San Francisco Next? CCP Thugs Escape Unpunished

Is San Francisco Next? CCP Thugs Escape Unpunished
Police arrive to help escort vehicles blocked by protesters of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) global trade summit headed for the Moscone Center in San Francisco on Nov. 12, 2023. (Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
Anders Corr
A video shared by the Hong Kong Democracy Council on Nov. 21 shows two men followed by what appear to be Chinese Communist Party (CCP) thugs in San Francisco. The two had apparently engaged in anti-CCP protests. One of them yells a slogan against Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Then, a man is brutally beaten to the ground, left bleeding, and knocked out. When the police arrive, his foot twitches uncontrollably. The video cuts to a hospital, where he is shown lying motionless on a gurney, with cuts and bruises on his face.
According to the New York-based organization Human Rights in China, the Chinese Consulate arranged for CCP-affiliated protesters to attend rallies in San Francisco during Xi’s visit starting on Nov. 14. The consulate allegedly provided travel expenses from as far away as New York and Los Angeles.

The travelers “included pro-CCP figures in the Chinese community, including some who are well-known for violence. One YouTube account from a Chinese student confirms that, even though the groups were organized under the names of Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSA), they were paid for by the Chinese consulate, which provided funds for transportation and meals,” the nonprofit group said in a statement.

Multiple videos, photos, and allegations emerged afterward of thugs ripping down protest signs and assaulting protesters, including with a knife, metal rods, poles, umbrellas, and pepper spray. On some occasions, the thugs sought to conceal violence behind large Chinese flags. They seized and damaged phones used to record evidence.

No arrests were made. Politicians said little against the violence. The mainstream media largely ignored the news.

The beatings didn’t mar a glittering dinner just miles away at which American CEOs paid $40,000 each to sit with Xi and give him a standing ovation before he even spoke. Broadcom Inc. and Mastercard Inc., which underwrote the dinner along with Boeing Co., apparently got their money’s worth when their multibillion-dollar China deals got approved afterward.

Official attention to the nearby violence only came after an online outcry from activists, relayed by China specialists and representatives associated with the U.S. Congress.

On Nov. 28, the chair and co-chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) issued a statement. “We, the Chairs of the CECC, strongly condemn the reported violence perpetrated against individuals exercising their rights of freedom of expression and assembly in the United States,” they said. “We urge San Francisco County police to review these reports and pursue justice as appropriate.”
On Nov. 29, the Daily Mail reported that the bipartisan House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the CCP—chaired by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.)—pressured the Department of Justice in a letter to explain how they were protecting vulnerable pro-democracy activists in San Francisco. The letter referred to reports that “plainclothes agents” were “believed to have been dispatched from the Chinese consulate.”

At least 15 pro-democracy protesters were harmed by pro-CCP protesters, according to the committee, with 12 requiring hospitalization.

“During the protests, pro-Xi thugs assaulted Chinese, Hongkonger, and Tibetan dissidents, including a knife attack, the use of pepper spray, and other forms of intimidation and harassment,” the letter stated.

The lack of enforcement raises questions about whether some federal and state agencies are soft on China because of the regime’s influence, including through corporations and family members. Are President Joe Biden and California Gov. Gavin Newsom trying to be chummy with Xi by discouraging enforcement actions against CCP thugs on U.S. soil?

Shortly after the violence, news broke of an alleged $40,000 payment to then-former Vice President Biden in 2017, laundered through his family member and linked to a $5 million payment from a Chinese regime-linked entity. Could the Biden family business with China have caused the president to support weaker positions against Beijing?

That would be consistent with what the CCP calls its “united front” work of influencing non-CCP members.

According to a memo released by the committee on Nov. 27, “every CCP leader from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping has endorsed its importance for helping the party achieve the ‘Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation,’ which includes unifying with Taiwan and establishing a new global order that revolves around CCP values and interests.”

The memo stated that “United front work damages U.S. interests through legal and illegal technology transfer, surveillance of Chinese diaspora communities, promotion of favorable narratives about the PRC [People’s Republic of China] through ostensibly independent voices, and the neutralization or harassment of critics of the CCP.”

We certainly saw this in San Francisco during Xi’s visit. Most disturbing is that U.S. federal and local law enforcement agencies haven’t done more to protect the pro-democracy protesters, who are America’s best hope when it comes to communist China. Failure to enforce the law invites worse criminality next time.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Anders Corr has a bachelor's/master's in political science from Yale University (2001) and a doctorate in government from Harvard University (2008). He is a principal at Corr Analytics Inc., publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, and has conducted extensive research in North America, Europe, and Asia. His latest books are “The Concentration of Power: Institutionalization, Hierarchy, and Hegemony” (2021) and “Great Powers, Grand Strategies: the New Game in the South China Sea" (2018).