Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Attended Meeting With United Front Association, Signed Deal With Beijing in 2015

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Joe Biden holds a briefing on wildfires ahead of the wildfire season with cabinet members, government officials, as well as governors of several western states including Oregon Governor Kate Brown (on screen), in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on June 30, 2021. Brown signed Oregon into an agreement with Beijing in 2015 after attending a conference in Seattle where President Xi Jinping made a personal appearance.
Joe Biden holds a briefing on wildfires ahead of the wildfire season with cabinet members, government officials, as well as governors of several western states including Oregon Governor Kate Brown (on screen), in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on June 30, 2021. Brown signed Oregon into an agreement with Beijing in 2015 after attending a conference in Seattle where President Xi Jinping made a personal appearance. (Image: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, attended a “Governors Forum” sponsored by a known arm of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) United Front Work Department (UFWD) in 2015. The event was hosted in Seattle, was co-hosted by California’s state government, and saw China’s leader Xi Jinping make an in-person speech. During the Forum, Brown signed Oregon into an agreement with the Communist Party. 

The UFWD is a well-recognized CCP organ that exists to “co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling [CCP].” The agency “also has an important foreign influence mission,” according to a 2018 Staff Research Report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

Governor Brown attended the Third China-U.S. Governors Forum on Sept. 22, 2015. The event was sponsored by the UFWD arm, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC). The CPAFFC’s website, which is hosted in mainland China, highlighted the event’s attendees as:

From China:

  • Wang Dongming, Party Secretary of Sichuan Provincial CPC Committee;
  • Wang Anshun, Mayor of Beijing;
  • Huang Qifan, Mayor of Chongqing;
  • Li Qiang, Governor of Zhejiang Province;
  • Guo Shuqing, Governor of Shandong Province;
  • Lou Qinjian, Governor of Shaanxi Province; and
  • Li Xiaolin, President of the CPAFFC.

From the United States:

  • California State Governor Jerry Brown;
  • Washington State Governor Jay Inslee;
  • Michigan State Governor Rick Snyder;
  • Iowa State Governor Terry Branstad; and
  • Oregon State Governor Kate Brown.

According to a 2019 report published by Hoover Institution Press titled China’s Influence &American Interests – Promoting Constructive Vigilance, the CPAFFC is described as being “effectively the public face of the CCP’s UFWD.”

Its president, Li Xiaolin, is daughter of Li Xiannian, former President of the People’s Republic of China.

“It is not covert and, for all the connotations conjured up in its name, it remains avowedly an arm of the party-state. In that respect, the Friendship Association remains a reliable conduit for passing messages between the two countries, especially at a time, as in recent years, when senior-level political exchanges have been fraught,” adds the report.

In CPAFFC’s press release promoting the successes of the Governors Forum, Brown was paraphrased as emphasizing Oregon’s “green” energy, environmental protection, and low-carbon goals, before finally adding that the state “hopes to enhance cooperation with China.”

The release also said Xi, who was on a state visit to the U.S. at the same time, attended the Forum and “delivered an important speech.”

Dealing with the CCP

In a propaganda newsletter titled Voice of Friendship, the CPAFFC described Xi’s speech as having “highlighted the important role played by local-level cooperation in developing China-US relations.”

“China and the US had bright prospects for sub-national communication and collaboration, and the two countries should strengthen their ties in various fields by tapping the potential of their respective local advantages,” it added.

At the event, Brown signed Oregon into an agreement with the CCP titled the Governors’ Clean Energy and Economic Development Accord, where the Governor and the Party’s entities agreed to “exchange information, as well as business and/or academic delegations, to implement the objectives of this accord,” and “designate their appropriate office to organize and facilitate this collaboration among provinces and states under this accord.”

The Accord, which was also signed by Jerry Brown, Snyder, and Brandstad, according to a press release by Kate Brown’s office, further undertook to establish regular meetings between the U.S. Governors and the CCP, “To share information, approaches and experiences relevant to clean energy and economic development through clean technology innovation.”

A month later in October, Kate Brown once again met with the CPAFFC where she was paraphrased by an Association propaganda statement as stating that “the State of Oregon regards China as the most important international partner and has willingness to strengthen pragmatic cooperation with China in education, science and technology, health, tourism and sports, etc.”

‘China-centric conspiracy’

The story was first reported by The National Pulse after the Oregon Democrat Party (ODP) began to organize for cancel culture against an event sponsored by the Deschutes Republicans where the publication’s Editor-In-Chief, Raheem Kassam, and Senior Investigative Reporter, Natalie Winters, were scheduled to speak on Aug. 25. 

The ODP began attacking the event on Twitter on Aug. 23, calling The National Pulse “a right-wing website that promotes COVID and China-centric conspiracy theories.”

Deschutes Democrats Chairman Jason Burge was quoted in the ODP’s Twitter thread as claiming Kassam and Winters “do not reflect the values of Deschutes County.” He further described the duo as “hateful extremists,” adding, “It’s embarrassing that local Republicans would promote their toxic beliefs.”

On Aug. 24, Oregon became the first state in the United States to reinstate outdoor mask mandates after Governor Brown announced all Oregonians, regardless of vaccination acceptance, would be subject to an outdoor masking requirement, “In most public outdoor settings, including large outdoor events, where physical distancing is not possible.” 

The order, which comes into effect Aug. 27, cities fears surrounding the spread of the Delta Variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), to justify the decision.

Brown clarified, “I want to stress, however, that this rule doesn’t mean you have to wear a mask at all times outdoors…You do not need to mask up for the fleeting pass on a hiking trail or your morning walk with your dog,” according to Daily Mail.

“It does mean that you have to take personal responsibility and use common sense in outdoor spaces where you can’t physically distance yourself,” said Brown, who called masking outside a “simple act of kindness and compassion.”

On August 22, New York Post reported a July study by the University of Waterloo that found standard surgical and three-ply cloth masks were a meager 12.4 and 9.8 percent effective at filtering SARS-CoV-2, a virus which is only 0.1 microns in size. For perspective, a human hair is approximately 70 microns in size.

By comparison, even N95, and their Chinese counterpart, KN95, medical masks, were found to only have a 60 and 46 percent efficacy rate at filtering coronavirus particles indoors.

  • Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.