Former Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer registered as a foreign lobbyist for a Chinese company accused of aiding the Chinese government’s persecution on ethnic Muslims. She canceled her registration just hours after it was first reported.
The inaugural committee for President-elect Joe Biden returned a $500 donation to Biden’s former Senate colleague, ex-California Senator Barbara Boxer after it was revealed she registered as a lobbyist for the American division of a Chinese company alleged to have profited off the mass detention of Uighur Muslims in China.
- Boxer defended her registration and work for the firm Hikvision, saying she is providing strategic advice to help Hikvision “operate in a more responsible and humane manner consistent with U.S. law”.
- Just hours after news broke of her registration required under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Boxer rescinded her registration, releasing a statement on Twitter that her continued involvement (with Hikvision) has become a negative distraction”.
- Hikvision is one of dozens of Chinese-owned firms added to a blacklist by the United States Department of Commerce in 2019, alleging the company was complicit in the suppression and detention of ethnic Muslims in western China.
- Boxer also recently made headlines for her comments regarding the certification of the Electoral College results, calling the Republican Party “a dictatorship” less than two weeks before registering as a lobbyist for a company with ties to a literal dictatorship.
- The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the story and noted President-elect Biden called the treatment of Uighur Muslims in China “genocide.”
- San Francisco Gate ended its coverage by saying Boxer is only the latest California Democrat coming under fire for close ties to China, citing Eric Swalwell, and Dianne Feinstein.
- Fox News noted “it is not unusual for former politicians to enter the lobbying world and register as foreign agents when working with another government” while also detailing the scandals involving China with Swalwell and Feinstein.
- Before rescinding her FARA registration, National Review’s Jim Geraghty highlighted the development and provided background by including a spat between Boxer and NY Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was told by Boxer “How do you abuse power when you’re out of power?” after being criticized for becoming a corporate lobbyist.
- Much of the New York Post’s coverage focused on the details of Hikvision’s ties to the Chinese military while the Post’s opinion section is urging Biden, whose family has uncomfortably close ties to China, to turn his tough-on-China campaign rhetoric into action.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021