Axios reports that a Chinese surveillance firm has enlisted the help of a former senior U.S. official at the Treasury Department’s sanctions program, just weeks after the company was reported to have ties to the Chinese military, records show.
Why it matters: The company, Hikvision, has disputed its place on a Pentagon blacklist of companies with Chinese military ties. The new hire by its D.C. lobbying firm is just the latest aimed at rolling back U.S. government measures that threaten to deal a body blow to its business.
What’s new: The lobbying firm, Mercury Public Affairs, announced last month that it had hired Peter Kucik, a former senior sanctions policy advisor at Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. Last week, Mercury added Kucik to its Hikvision account.
- Kucik’s hiring was announced just days after the Wall Street Journal reported on new research on Hikvision’s ties to the Chinese military.
- The company disputed the reporting, saying it had never “conducted research and development work for Chinese military applications,” and that any equipment sold to China’s army was manufactured for “dual use” military and commercial purposes.
- The WSJ report was based on findings by the surveillance technology research service IPVM, which also flagged Kucik’s hiring to Axios.
- Previous reporting has linked Hikvision to the surveillance of Uighur Muslims in mosques and detention camps in the Chinese province of Xinjiang. The company has denied “any inappropriate actions in Xinjiang.”
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What is not in this report is how extensive these lobbyists can get inside of the government. This is just another example. Hob knobbing with various members of our government, lobbyists can learn personal information and get the inside track on any new policy that is being envisioned and formed. Personal information can be weaponized and/or used as favor to extract policy change.
Remember this report is coming from a major Lefty news source and not from some obscure right-wing blog website. This just shows reading all news sources, very often you can put the pieces together on what is happening in America.