A Large Donor to Anti-Bitcoin Rep. Brad Sherman Coordinates With China's "Magic Weapon" to Influence US Politicians, Including President Biden and Vice President Harris

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The Bank Director, The Chinese State, and the American Politicians: How One Community Bank Became a Hub for Influence

This article delves into the intricate web of connections between a community bank director, Chinese state entities, and a network of American politicians. It reveals how a seemingly ordinary bank, Royal Business Bank (RBB), became a conduit for significant political contributions and influence, potentially blurring the lines between financial backing and foreign interference.

The story revolves around Simon Pang, a prominent bank director who, despite leading a small bank with a market cap of approximately $300 million, amassed an unusual degree of political influence in both the United States and China. His connections extend to high-ranking politicians, including President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and members of Congress, as well as influential figures within the Chinese political and business elite.

Pang’s Influence-Building Strategies

Pang’s strategy involved a multi-pronged approach:

  • Political Donations: Pang and RBB, along with associated entities and individuals like Helen Hong Yu and Kevin Xu, poured significant funds into both federal and state political contributions. Notably, their donations, exceeding $1.42 million in federal contributions alone, far outweighed the political spending of larger, more established banks.
  • Cultivating Relationships: Pang leveraged his vast connections to forge strong relationships with key figures in both countries, bridging the gap between Chinese political and business elites and prominent American politicians. This included hosting delegations of American lawmakers in China, facilitating meetings between Chinese business leaders and American officials, and even attending high-profile events, such as the 2015 Obama-Xi state dinner and the APEC summit.
  • Strategic Partnerships: Pang spearheaded the establishment of the US-Sino Friendship Association, a small but strategically positioned organization designed to foster ties between American leaders and Chinese entities.

The Role of Royal Business Bank

RBB’s rapid expansion across the United States through mergers and acquisitions, its stated goal of cultivating connections in "China and Asia, as well as at high levels of government in China and Taiwan," and Pang’s role as a bank director raise questions about the bank’s strategic objectives.

The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC)

The CPAFFC, a powerful entity described as the "public face" of the United Front Work Department (UFWD), plays a crucial role in China’s foreign policy. The UFWD, the State Department alleges, is responsible for spreading Chinese influence abroad and neutralizing threats to the Chinese government’s rule.

The CPAFFC’s Influence on Pang and RBB

Pang’s involvement with the CPAFFC is notable. He signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the CPAFFC, participated in joint initiatives, and organized tours of Chinese cities for American politicians. This closeness to the CPAFFC, coupled with the organization’s stated goal of "making the foreign serve China," raises concerns about the potential for Chinese influence on American politicians through Pang and RBB.

The Potential for Conflict of Interest

The close ties between Pang, RBB, and the CPAFFC raise questions about potential conflicts of interest. Pang’s political donations and the bank’s connections to Chinese entities could be interpreted as influencing policy decisions that may benefit Chinese interests, creating a potential conflict between Pang’s business goals and his role on the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans.

A Vulnerable System

Pang’s case highlights the vulnerability of the US electoral and financial systems to influence campaigns. The system’s reliance on large sums of money in political contributions, coupled with the lack of transparency and oversight, creates opportunities for individuals or organizations to exert undue influence, particularly when they have access to resources and connections like Pang.

The Need for Transparency and Accountability

The revelations surrounding Pang, RBB, and the CPAFFC underscore the need for greater transparency and accountability in political donations and foreign influence. The US government should implement stricter regulations, enhance oversight of political contributions, and ensure that individuals with close ties to foreign governments are held to the highest standards of ethical conduct.

A Call to Action

This story serves as a cautionary tale. It highlights the need for vigilance and a thorough examination of potential foreign influence on American politics. A proactive approach to identifying and mitigating potential conflicts of interest is crucial to protecting the integrity of the American democratic process. The future of US-China relations and global stability may depend on it.

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Rebecca White
Rebecca White
Rebecca White is a cryptocurrency journalist and editor for Bitcoin Magazine. She offers in-depth analysis, information, and commentary on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Rebecca's expertise is highlighted through her articles, podcasts, and research, making her a prominent figure in the crypto community.