Chinese Consulate Asked Wisconsin State Senate to Praise CCP for ‘Sharing Key Information’ about Coronavirus, Emails Show

Tobias Hoonhout

The head of the Wisconsin state senate recently received multiple emails from the wife of the Chinese Consulate-General in Chicago asking him to propose a resolution to praise China for its handling of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

In a pair of February emails sent to State Senate President Roger Roth, which were provided to National Review, a woman named Wu Ting, who claimed to be “responsible for China-Wisconsin relations,” asks Roth to “consider adopting a resolution expressing solidarity with the Chinese people in fighting the coronavirus.” The Chicago Chinese Consulate General’s official website matches the name to that of the wife of Chinese Consul General in Chicago Zhao Jian, and Ting confirmed her identity when reached for comment.

“The Consulate General wonders if the Wisconsin State Senate could consider adopting a resolution expressing solidarity with the Chinese people in fighting the coronavirus. It [sic] yes, it would be a great moral support to the Chinese people combating the disease,” Ting wrote in the email. “Much appreciated if you could give it a serious consideration. We have drawn up a draft resolution just for your reference.”

The attached draft resolution, which was first reported by the Wisconsin Examiner, states: “The State of Wisconsin will continue to support China in its effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus,” and says Beijing’s efforts have been “effective in curbing the virus from spreading to other parts of China and the world.”

“China has been transparent and quick in sharing key information of the virus with the WHO and the international community, thus creating a window of opportunity for other countries to make timely response,” the resolution continues.

In a Monday interview, Roth told National Review that he thought the first email, dated February 26 — one day after U.S. officials warned of the imminent coronavirus pandemic — was “obviously a hoax” because it came from a personal Hotmail account, and because he had never before been contacted by the Chinese. But after the same account sent a similar follow-up email on March 10, Roth said he told his staff to follow up and determine whether the request might actually be legitimate.

In the course of vetting the authenticity of Ting’s email, Roth’s staffers were told by officials at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation that Chinese diplomats routinely use private email accounts to conduct official business since it allows them to avoid internal red tape. Upon learning that Ting’s email was authentic, Roth says he “became very angry.”

“Consuls reach out periodically with governors, periodically they’ll come and talk to me as senate president, the speaker of the assembly, and so forth. But I have never had someone give me a resolution that they wanted me to pass on the Senate floor — never,” he explained. “So just the fact that they felt it was ok for them to do something so brazen . . .  for this communist party, to so desperately crave for and look for legitimacy, wherever they could get it — including in Wisconsin — by passing this sham of a resolution that they wrote, tells you just how worried they must be right now on how they’ve reacted to the outbreak here of the coronavirus.”

Reached by a phone number listed in the signature block of the emails sent to Roth, Ting confirmed her identity, but declined to comment on whether she had sent the emails to Roth. Ting complained that the request for comment was not sent through the “proper” channels and said she had to “verify” the request before commenting.

Last month, Roth proposed a different resolution to publicly acknowledge “that the Communist Party of China deliberately and intentionally misled the world on the Wuhan Coronavirus and standing in solidarity with the Chinese people to condemn the actions of the Communist Party of China.” The bill’s text cited the emails he received from Ting.

“I was like ‘screw this, we are passing a resolution on China, but it’s not going to be the one that the Chinese Communist Party wanted, we’re going to give them one that really strips naked the Communist Party of China for all of its aggressions and lets the world hopefully see, at least the people in Wisconsin see, what this regime is really capable of,’” Roth explained to National Review.

China’s U.S. embassy failed to return a request for comment on whether Ting was authorized to propose the resolution draft.

Earlier this month, Ting — using the same email account — also approached the District Chief of Staff for Representative Mike Gallagher (R., Wisc.), to pass along a letter from her husband to the congressman after Gallagher joined a House resolution from Representative Jim Banks (R., Ind.) to condemn the CCP for their handling of the virus.

“We are firmly opposed to racial discrimination and xenophobia against the local Chinese community and stigmatization of China and the Chinese people over the virus,” the letter reads. “I sincerely hope that you could take an objective view of China’s commitment and effort in fighting the pandemic and would not support this resolution or anything that is harmful to the interests of the local communities and the overall U.S.-China relations.”

The CCP’s attempts to cover up the extent of the coronavirus epicenter in Wuhan have been well documented, including the gagging of laboratories which discovered in December that the novel outbreak closely resembled the deadly SARS virus of 2002-2003.

Contrary to the claims of transparency made in Ting’s resolution, Beijing has refused to provide live samples of the virus to American researchers, delaying the development of a badly needed vaccine.

“They didn’t make the virus available to anyone,” former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told National Review editor Rich Lowry last week on The Editors podcast.  “. . . They didn’t make the live virus available. The United States eventually got the live virus, but they got it weeks later than they otherwise could have, and that delayed development of diagnostic tests.”

Beijing has also been engaged in state-sponsored propaganda campaign to stoke conspiracy theories that the virus originated in the United States. That campaign began in earnest on February 27 — the day after Roth received the first email.

A top Chinese foreign ministry spokesman claimed on March 12 that the U.S. military had planted the coronavirus in Wuhan. The spokesman subsequently attempted to walk back the claim, blaming “stigmatization” of China for his initial remarks.

Later in March, Chinese state media cited an American conspiracy theorist to theorize that coronavirus was brought to China in October by a U.S. military athlete. Chinese state media organ, the Global Times, also used footage from the U.S. mainstream media criticizing President Trump’s use of the term “Chinese virus” to suggest that scrutiny of China’s handling of the coronavirus is racist.

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