Democratic "Squad" member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) funneled campaign money to a Chinese-owned news corporation that is registered as a foreign agent, Fox News reported.
Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign paid Sing Tao, a China-based company that consistently expresses pro-Beijing viewpoints, for advertising during the 2022 election cycle. The Democrat’s spending came after the Department of Justice ordered Sing Tao to register as a foreign agent in 2021 to regulate its influence as a company with ties to the Chinese government.
The Hong Kong-based news company publishes Chinese-language newspapers in several American cities, including New York and Los Angeles. Sing Tao claims to be independent from China but mostly publishes content purchased from the Chinese company Star Production (Shenzhen) Limited. Sing Tao has been greatly influenced by "the oversight of pro-Beijing businessman Charles Ho Tsu-Kwok," according to the Epoch Times.
While Ocasio-Cortez paid the Chinese foreign agent $1,500 for advertising, Democratic lawmakers Kevin Mullin (Calif.) and Grace Meng (N.Y.), as well as Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (N.Y.), also shoveled thousands to the company during the 2022 midterm elections.
Ocasio-Cortez’s payments come amid heightened tension between Washington and Beijing, as the Department of Justice looks to crack down on Chinese influence peddling.
Sing Tao’s leadership has consistently expressed pro-Beijing stances, and Charles Ho Tsu-kwok, who has headed Sing Tao News Corporation Ltd for more than 20 years, has also served as a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, "Beijing’s top advisory body that also oversees Chinese influence operations worldwide," the Epoch Times reported.
Ho has frequently decried pro-democracy movements in China, calling for a more severe government response to protesters.
After the Justice Department required Sing Tao to register as a foreign agent, the company argued that it was "similarly situated to other for-profit media companies operating in the United States."