A report published on Monday claimed that New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) appeared hobnobbing at a political event in a video alongside “Harry” Lu Jianwang, arrested last week on federal charges for allegedly running an illegal Chinese police station in New York City.
The video — according to Fox News, which published the story — was recorded on March 18 and allegedly shows Lu chatting with Adams and Schumer at a fundraiser for a nonprofit group called the Fukien American Association. Fox News claimed it was not the first time Lu was seen cultivating ties with New York City’s Democrat Party elites:
In April 2022, Lu also met New York Democratic Rep. Grace Meng at a fundraising event, according to The Daily Caller, citing images the outlet found.
Records show that since 2006, Lu has contributed at least $32,625 to New York elected officials, including Adams and New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul.
A spokesman for Mayor Adams said he does not know Lu personally but confirmed that Adams was present at the Fukien American Association event, stating he was there to “show support for a local community” rather than to endorse the association itself.
According to the Daily Caller, Lu met with Adams “on a number of occasions” before the fundraiser, including “anniversary celebrations for America Changle Association,” the nonprofit organization that allegedly served as a front for the secret Chinese police station. The FBI raided the offices of the America Changle Association in January.
Lu also donated $4,000 to Adams’ mayoral campaign under a pseudonym, according to the Daily Caller.
Lu’s arrest was among the first worldwide in a growing scandal over China operating covert “police stations” on foreign soil. These stations allegedly served to gather information on Chinese dissidents living abroad, sometimes coordinating intimidation actions against them. Experts believe China established these stations around the world, including Canada, Japan, Brazil, and Spain in addition to the United States.
The regime in Beijing unconvincingly claimed the secret police stations were merely consular outreach services that helped Chinese nationals living abroad with tasks such as obtaining foreign driver’s licenses, confirming their existence.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) arrested Lu, 61, and Chen Jinping, 59, in the Bronx and Manhattan for working as unregistered agents of the Chinese government, specifically its Ministry of Public Security (MPS).
DOJ denounced their actions as a “blatant violation of our national sovereignty” and an outrageous example of China’s “transnational repression.” According to U.S. Attorney Breon Peace, the secret police station took up an entire floor of an office building in Lower Manhattan.
“Now, just imagine the NYPD opening an undeclared secret police station in Beijing. It would be unthinkable,” Peace pointed out.
Lu and Chen were accused of coordinating massive networks of fake social media accounts to spread Chinese Communist Party propaganda and harass dissidents. Lu was charged with using “threats of violence” to coerce a Chinese national to return to China and helping to target a “pro-democracy activist” living in California for harassment.
In addition to facing up to five years in prison for acting as agents of the Chinese government, they could be jailed for up to 20 years for obstructing justice by deleting incriminating messages from their cell phones.
Safeguard Defenders, the watchdog group that exposed Lu and Chen’s operation in New York, published a report in September that said China is operating over a hundred secret police stations around the world, including more in the United States — and even at least one more station in New York City.