A banker with ties to alleged Chinese Communist Party front groups is currently appointed to represent U.S. business interests in Asia, according to a new investigation by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The investigation indicated that Dominic Ng, a U.S. representative in a key trade bloc linking economies around the Pacific Ocean, has held leadership positions in two groups linked to a CCP agency described by the U.S. as running influence and intelligence operations.
Ng, CEO of California-based East West Bank, has served as “executive director” for the China Overseas Exchange Association and, four years ago, started a five-year position with the same title at the China Overseas Friendship Association, according to the investigation.
Both organizations reportedly stem from the United Front Work Department, a CCP agency that works to protect the party’s influence overseas.
Clive Hamilton, an Australian professor who has written books on Chinese foreign influence, said COFA and COEA members are “expected to carry out influence work overseas to advance the objectives” of the CCP.
“A person who holds a position in COFA or COEA, including provincial branches, and works in any U.S. government agency should not be allowed access to any sensitive information, and, in fact, will have divided loyalties at best,” Hamilton said.
In 2020, Ng donated $100,000 to President Joe Biden’s campaign fund and $35,500 to the Democratic National Committee, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Now, Ng is chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (APEC) Business Advisory Council, positioning him to influence a trade bloc consisting of nations that, according to a 2013 China Briefing article, process 70 percent of all China’s trade.
The Biden administration appointed Ng to APEC’s Business Advisory Council last year, and he was promoted to lead the council as its chair for the duration of 2023, according to the State Department. Business Advisory Council members are appointed by the nations they represent and serve as long as their nation desires, according to the council’s website.
As chair, Ng will “work closely” with leaders from 20 other countries “to provide recommendations” that reflect “the perspectives of key APEC stakeholders,” the State Department said. The U.S. is serving as host country for several APEC meetings this year, with a theme of “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All,” according to the State Department.
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), the chairman of a new House committee on competition with China, said: “If you have the privilege of serving the American people at any level of government, you should, at a minimum, commit to serve the interests of the American people.”
“Too many former U.S. government officials and public servants are willing to shop out their connections and expertise to foreign adversaries, helping [Chinese President] Xi Jinping wield his so-called ‘magic weapon’ of United Front work,” he said.