The inaugural committee for President-elect Joe Biden reportedly returned a $500 donation from former California Sen. Barbara Boxer after it was learned she registered as a foreign agent for a Chinese surveillance firm.
Axios reported that the committee rejected Boxer’s donation since the Chinese firm — named Hikvision — has been “accused of abetting the country’s mass internment of Uighur Muslims.” According to Justice Department documents published Friday, Boxer provides “strategic consulting services” to Hikvision’s subsidiary in the United States.
Hikivision was banned from doing business with U.S. firms absent a government-issued license in 2019, and was accused by the Trump administration of having ties to the Chinese military.
In a statement to Axios, Boxer stated, “When I am asked to provide strategic advice to help a company operate in a more responsible and humane manner consistent with U.S. law in spirit and letter, it is an opportunity to make things better while helping protect and create American jobs.”
During his presidential campaign, Biden said the internment of Uighur Muslims is “among the worst abuses of human rights in the world today.”
“The U.S. cannot be silent — we must speak out against this oppression and relentlessly defend human rights around the world,” he tweeted in November 2019.
Boxer is the latest California Democrat with reported ties to agents of the Chinese government. In December, Axios published another story revealing that Rep. Eric Swalwell had close ties to a suspected Chinese spy who was sent to gain influence with young, up-and-coming American politicians.
In 2018, it was revealed that Sen. Dianne Feinstein had a suspected Chinese spy on her staff for about 20 years without her knowledge.