By ALAN SUDERMAN and SAM METZ
China’s global campaign to win friends and influence policy has blossomed in a surprising place: Utah, a deeply religious and conservative state with few obvious ties to the world’s most powerful communist country.
An investigation by The Associated Press has found that China and its U.S.-based advocates spent years building relationships with the state’s officials and lawmakers. Those efforts have paid dividends at home and abroad, the AP found: Lawmakers delayed legislation Beijing didn’t like, nixed resolutions that conveyed displeasure with its actions and expressed support in ways that enhanced the Chinese government’s image.
Its work in Utah is emblematic of a broader effort by Beijing to secure allies at the local level as its relations with the U.S. and its western allies have turned acrimonious. U.S. officials say local leaders are at risk of being manipulated by China and have deemed the influence campaign a threat to national security.
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE…(apnews.com)
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