US Justices, Judges Tied to China’s Peking University

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Former Sen. Joseph Biden (R), D-DE, gestures as he questions U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing January 10, 2006 on Capitol Hill in Washington as Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-MA, looks on. Alito, former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and multiple U.S. circuit and appeals court judges have served as lecturers or guests for the Chinese Communist Party’s Peking University’s School of Transnational Law.
Former Sen. Joseph Biden (R), D-DE, gestures as he questions U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing January 10, 2006 on Capitol Hill in Washington as Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-MA, looks on. Alito, former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and multiple U.S. circuit and appeals court judges have served as lecturers or guests for the Chinese Communist Party’s Peking University’s School of Transnational Law. (Image: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Multiple U.S. federal court judges, along with Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, have served as visiting professors at China’s Peking University, an institution that is not only headed by a former leader of a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intelligence agency, but is also an organ of the Party’s United Front operation. 

According to reporting by National Pulse, a promotional brochure for Peking University’s School of Transnational Law (STL) had listed organizations such as Thomson-Reuters and Lenovo Group as sponsors, and notably the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), a CCP United Front Work Department organization founded by former Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-Hwa.

Peking University’s Party Secretary Qiu Shuiping was former Party Secretary of the CCP’s Beijing State Security Bureau, a branch of the national intelligence agency. Qiu graduated from Peking University himself in 1983 and also served as a High Court Judge in Shanxi Province in the Party’s kangaroo court show trial system that boasts a conviction rate in the 90th percentile. 

The CUSEF was discovered to have been represented by U.S. public relations firm BLJ Worldwide in efforts to bring the very biggest names in Western media, such as CNN, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg to mainland China to brush shoulders with Chinese officials.

In 2018, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said “CUSEF’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party are an issue of grave concern. Founder and Chairman Tung Chee-hwa currently serves as the vice-chairman of the [CPPCC], an organization which works closely with the united front, the structure the CCP utilizes to manage foreign influence operations.”

A 2017 promotional brochure found on the STL’s website boasts that graduates have gone on to find placements in several leading Chinese law firms in addition to Communist Party giants such as Huawei and Baidu, leading international organizations such as the UNHCR, Harvard, and the World Trade Organization, CCP Military-Civil Fusion backbones such as AVIC International, and Party organs such as the China Construction Bank, China Development Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, the Ministry of Commerce, and National Development and Reform Commission. 

In an archive.org capture of the STL’s website, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito taught a course at Peking University in 2016. In addition., former SCOTUS Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired in 2018, is also listed on the Distinguished Visitor page. 

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy stands during a private ceremony for deceased Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the U.S. Supreme Court, on September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. Kennedy delivered the keynote speech at Peking’s School of Transnational Law’s founding alongside CUSEF leader and former Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-Hwa in 2008.
Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy stands during a private ceremony for deceased Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the U.S. Supreme Court, on September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. Kennedy delivered the keynote speech at Peking’s School of Transnational Law’s founding alongside CUSEF leader and former Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-Hwa in 2008. (Image: Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images)

In a separate archive.org capture, the STL boasts Alito spent an entire week at the STL where students participated in a mock Supreme Court trial where they could present arguments to Alito as if it were a real session of America’s High Court.

In 2008, Justice Kennedy stood alongside Tung Chee-Hwa and delivered the STL’s keynote address shortly after its founding.

On June 4, in a bipartisan effort, Sens. John Kennedy (R-LA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) queried the Department of Justice and U.S. Marshalls for all documents pertaining to travel taken by Supreme Court Justices for the previous ten years.

Jeffrey Lehman, STL’s founding Dean and current honorary Chancellor is also former President of Cornell University. Lehman called the founding of STL “A great day for legal education – in China and around the world.”

In May, Cornell rubber stamped a joint MBA/MMH degree program with Peking University despite intense student and faculty opposition to the project. The STL already describes itself as “the only law school in the world that combines an American-style Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) with a China law Juris Master degree (J.M.).”

In addition to Alito and Kennedy, Harry Edwards, Chief Judge Emeritus of the D.C. Court of Appeals, William Fletcher, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, and Chief Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit of Appeals Brooks Smith are listed as Visiting Lecturers alongside Alito and Kennedy in the archived version of the STL’s website.

Two judges who currently preside over U.S. courts are listed as visiting faculty on the STL’s website: Associate Judge for the D.C. Superior Court Russel Canan and D.C. Superior Court Judge Russel Weisberg, while Gerald Fisher, an active D.C. Associate Justice, was a visiting jurist at the STL from 2012 to 2014. 

Former Chief Judge of the D.C. Superior Court, Robert Morin, an Obama appointee, is listed on an archived version of the STL’s webpage as visiting faculty. Morin adjudicated several cases in 2018 related to rioting that occurred during former President Donald Trump’s inauguration, questioning video evidence provided by investigative journalist team Project Veritas, which led to charges against dozens of individuals being dropped.

In May, Big Tech cornerstone Facebook was found to have its Journalism Project tied to the CCP’s Tsinghua University, an entity that can be described as a Marxist training ground. Tsinghua’s Dean’s Address was bold enough to state its direct intentions, “We should be committed to a firm and correct political orientation. Our School has been actively exploring the theory and practices of Marxist Journalism.”