The fear of someone informing on them to the Chinese Communist Party, and of the possible harm inflicted on family members in China, is so powerful and pervasive that some members of the Chinese-American community are ill-inclined even to speak to their elected representatives at public events, according to Michigan State Sen. Jim Runestad.
“The number one problem we have in this nation, I believe, in the future is going to be the Chinese communist government,” Runestad told EpochTV’s “China Insider” program at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, on Feb. 25.
“They’re opening recruiting spies in the United States, and our own government seems not to care.”
Runestad, a Republican representing Michigan’s 15th district in the state senate, said that after taking office in January 2019, he began to make a strong effort to build ties with the Chinese-American community in his constituency by attending public meetings and gatherings. It quickly became apparent that some of the Chinese-Americans who attended the events were terrified that someone might see them interacting with a politician and might report on them to Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials. As a result, their family members in China might then be subject to intimidation, harassment, and detention.
Runestad described how at meetings he attended before the pandemic shut down most public gatherings, a Chinese-American constituent would walk up to him and ask Runestad to avoid looking at him or her, and to pretend that they were not really talking. The person who had approached the senator said another member of the Chinese community—who was sometimes also in the same room—had approached them, claiming to know the names and addresses of their relatives in China, and attempted to recruit the person to start helping the Chinese regime.