RNC Won't Return Donations That Bought Chinese Officials Access to Trump

After the U.S. in 2016 elected a president little known in Beijing, hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions opened doors in Washington for Chinese nationals with high-level ties.

Allegedly, the Chinese nationals who made the donations were allowed entrance into events that brought them into close proximity with President Donald Trump and other GOP lawmakers. However, there is no evidence that either Trump or White House officials had any knowledge of the donations from China.

Accepting political donations from foreign entities is prohibited by U.S. federal law. However, according to reporting Tuesday from The Wall Street Journal, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has not returned the donation since it did not believe any laws had been violated.

"It's important to do all we can to safeguard our politics from illegal foreign meddling," the RNC told The Wall Street Journal.

Newsweek reached out to the RNC and the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America for further comment. This story will be updated with any response.

Some observers fear that the presence of the Chinese nationals at GOP events represented an attempt by the Chinese government to influence the U.S. government. The RNC has barred foreign nationals from attending its events and severed ties with some fundraising organizations that could have ties with China.

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The Republican National Committee said it would not return donations from Chinese entities that allowed them to attend GOP events, including meeting President Donald Trump. Win McNamee/Getty

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the National Governor's Association Meeting in February that China had already become entrenched in the U.S. system.

"The Chinese government has been methodical in the way it's analyzed our system," Pompeo said. "It's assessed our vulnerabilities and it's decided to exploit our freedoms, to gain an advantage over us at the federal level, the state level and the local level."

Diplomatic tensions between China and the U.S. have increased as President Trump continues to blame China for the worldwide spread of coronavirus.

"The world is now suffering from the malfeasance of the Chinese government," Trump said in May. "Countless lives have been taken, and profound economic hardship has been inflicted all around the globe."

Trump also signed the Uighur Human Rights Act of 2020 on Wednesday, which allows the U.S. to levy economic sanctions against China for human rights abuses against Chinese Muslims and Indigenous people. China has placed more than 1 million Muslim individuals in reeducation camps in the Xinjiang region of the country.

According to allegations in former National Security Adviser John Bolton's book, The Room Where It Happened, Trump gave his tacit approval to Chinese President Xi Jinping for the camps, explaining through interpreters that he thought the construction should be continued.

Trump also allegedly asked Xi to help him win the 2020 election by purchasing agricultural goods from battleground states under the trade agreement with China.

China has been a large trade partner with the U.S., importing roughly $452 billion dollars of trade goods into the U.S. in 2019. Rising friction between the two countries led Trump to say Thursday that he would consider "a complete decoupling from China" in order to strengthen the U.S. supply chains.