The leaders of a congressional committee on China are investigating violence committed by pro-Beijing demonstrators in San Francisco during Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping’s recent visit, and are requesting a briefing from the Department of Justice.
In a Nov. 29 letter to Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), chair and ranking member of the House Select Committee on the CCP, expressed their outrage at reports of CCP-aligned actors violently assaulting peaceful pro-democracy protesters on U.S. soil.
Their letter laid out reports of the violence, including how some protesters were “confronted by Xi’s supporters wielding … metal rods, flagpoles, closed umbrellas, and pepper spray.”
“This is just one of many examples of CCP-aligned actors attempting to intimidate, silence, and harm dissidents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) living in the United States,” the lawmakers wrote.
The lawmakers said there were up to 15 pro-democracy protesters who “were harmed by Xi supporters” since the summit. They added, “During the protests, pro-Xi actors assaulted Chinese, Hongkonger, and Tibetan dissidents, including a knife attack, the use of pepper spray, and other forms of intimidation and harassment.”
‘Plainclothes Agents’Jason Blair, an NTD reporter, was also attacked on Nov. 15, while he was covering protests a few blocks from Moscone Center, where many APEC events were held. A man in his 20s tried to disrupt a demonstration before taking a swing at Mr. Blair, who was filming the attacker with his phone at the time.
“During the summit, protest organizers reported being followed on the streets of San Francisco by plainclothes agents believed to have been dispatched from the Chinese consulate,” the lawmakers wrote. “In particular, Jie Lijian, a Chinese dissident and organizer of the protest, said that he and fellow activists were followed by a group of five to six people who appeared to be plainclothes police or military officers in civilian clothing, and who he believes to be PRC agents.”
The lawmakers also noted that pro-democracy protesters “began receiving threats of violence on social media by supporters of Xi” before the CCP leader arrived in San Francisco.
One example involves Anna Kwok, executive director of Washington-based advocacy group Hong Kong Democracy Council. In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Nov. 12, she said she had been receiving “threats and intimidations [sic] from pro-Beijing accounts” since she announced her plan to join an anti-Xi protest in San Francisco. “They are threatening to ‘bounty hunt’ and encouraging people to ‘drop her unconscious body at the Chinese consulate,’” she added.
On Nov. 30, Ms. Kwok took to X to thank the Select Committee on the CCP for “demanding actions” from the DOJ. She added, “The violent assault and harassment of peaceful protests on American soil reeks of transnational repression.”
The lawmakers requested a briefing from Ms. Clarke by Dec. 13.