The Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) has refused the president’s offer of help to send in law enforcement to his city ravaged by riots and looting for more than 90 days, but his relationship with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has rung warning bells for law officials.
“On behalf of the City of Portland: No thanks,” Wheeler wrote in an open letter to the president on Friday, Aug. 28. “We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery.” Not so with Wheeler’s connections to the Chinese Communist Party, as he has no such reservation cooperating with the CCP.
The FBI has been “actively looking” into the CCP’s involvement in the riots decimating American cities. In 2017, San Francisco’s Chinese Communist Party Consul General Luo Linquan visited Oregon to commend the advantages of a more in-depth U.S.-China relationship and China’s Belt and Road (BRI) initiative. The scheme is actively promoted in many countries by Beijing, as it allows the CCP to gain economic and political power by providing debt-induced loans.
Luo met with Wheeler during his trip and Wheeler promised he was “willing to strengthen the ties of communication and exchanges with China in the future.” Luo also gave a speech at Portland’s University Club, where his talk was given high praise. Luo “encouraged Oregon enterprises to take their own advantages and actively participate in the construction of the [Belt and Road] Initiative,” reported The National Pulse.
Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson compared the BRI to “predatory economics,” and State Department officials have described it as a “made in China, made for China” initiative.
In April 2018, Wheeler took a 30-person delegation to China to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of Portland’s “sister city” bond with Suzhou in China. Members of the Portland government also made the trip, reported The National Pulse.
Wheeler shared the video on social media of the tree planting he participated in, along with Suzhou Mayor and Chinese Communist Party apparatchik Li Yaping.
Mayor Wheeler and Mayor Li Yaping of Suzhou, China planted a friendship tree this week, as well as signed a proclamation, commemorating Portland’s 30-year anniversary with our sister-city and committing ourselves to further collaboration in the future. pic.twitter.com/dFDJIw9Sy2
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) April 26, 2018
Then in July 2018, a delegation of Chinese Communist Party apparatchiks paid Portland a visit and planted a rose tree as a symbol of the enduring friendship between Suzhou and Portland.
Wheeler through his friendship with CCP delegates has involved himself in Confucius Institutes, which are a crucial part of China’s soft power push, although on the surface they appear as a Chinese learning initiative. The FBI has an interest in these institutes.
The Confucius Institute at Portland State University has sponsored concerts and galas and Wheeler has attended, often as a speaker. The Director of Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office was granted the status of “Honorary Citizen of Portland” at one such event, reported The National Pulse.
There is no disputing the strong ties the Portland mayor has fostered with the CCP.