On Thursday, Talk Business & Politics reported that U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R – AR) sent a letter to Arkansas’ elected officials at the state and county levels warning them that the Chinese Communist Party may try to use them to influence him.
Sen. Cotton has served in Washington since 2013. He currently sits on the U.S. Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence.
It has come to my attention that the Chinese Communist Party may attempt to use state and local officials in Arkansas to influence my work in the Senate. I want to alert you to this risk and assure you that these efforts will fail: I will never back down from the Chinese communists.
In its quest to replace the United States as the world’s dominant superpower, the Chinese Communist Party has waged an aggressive campaign of crime, espionage, and treachery. . . .
China’s subversion efforts are not limited to our nation’s capitol: I have good reason to believe that the Chinese Communist Party may seek to enlist state and local officials to influence my actions in Congress. Therefore, I ask that you remain vigilant against Chinese influence operations. You should assume, for instance, that any request by a Chinese official for you to contact me or my office is part of a Chinese espionage campaign.
In December the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette wrote about the Chinese government’s decision to sanction Dr. James Carr of Searcy as well as three other Americans on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). The USCIRF has repeatedly condemned the Communist government’s treatment of religious minorities.
And in July of 2020 FBI Director Christopher Wray gave a report on the threat China poses, saying, “If you are an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data.”
As the FBI’s report notes, the Chinese Communist government is engaged in a multi-layered approach of economic espionage, clandestine intelligence efforts, threats to academia, and attacks on the rule of law.
Sen. Tom Cotton’s letter further underscores that China appears committed to subverting the United States — possibly at the state and local level in Arkansas.