BBG Watch Commentary EXCLUSIVE
The website of the Hudson Institute, http://www.hudson.org, a politically conservative, non-profit American think tank based in Washington, D.C. which was scheduled to host Wednesday, October 4, Guo Wengui, also known as Miles Kwok, China’s most famous billionaire businessman and whistleblower seeking political asylum in the United States, has been under attack today and is not functioning at this moment. Tomorrow’s Hudson Institute event with Guo Wengui was postponed. It is not clear whether the postponement was because of what is believed to be a cyber attack, but Guo Wengui will speak at the Hudson Institute, BBG Watch was told. Hudson Institute President Kenneth Weinstein will not cave in to China, a high-ranking Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) official told BBG Watch. Weinstein is also current chairman of the BBG Board.
The Wall Street Journal had the following report:
WALL STREET JOURNAL: “The Hudson Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, postponed a Wednesday appearance by Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese businessman who has accused some of China’s top leaders of corruption and other misdeeds.
The Institute announced the postponement via email on Tuesday afternoon but didn’t provide a reason for the sudden delay. A spokeswoman for the Institute didn’t immediately return a request for comment, and its website was down Tuesday evening.”
READ MORE: Chinese Fugitive Guo Wengui’s D.C. Event Postponed. By Cezary Podkul and Kate OKeeffe, The Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2017.
Guo Wengui was scheduled to speak at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC on October 4, 2017 after his live interview with the Voice of America (VOA) Mandarin Service was cut short last April on orders of VOA director Amanda Bennett. The controversial decision to shorten the time in which he was expected to reveal to the Voice of America details of massive corruption within the Chinese Communist Party and its influence buying in the United States caused VOA to lose much of its previous credibility and reputation among its Chinese audience.
The Hudson Institute event will be moderated by Bill Gertz, senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon. Gertz is a national security columnist at The Washington Times, and author of The China Threat: How the People’s Republic Targets America.
After VOA’s senior leaders ordered Guo Wengui’s live interview to be shortened to 15 minutes (VOA Mandarin Service managed to extend it to 1 hour and 19 minutes, not counting regular VOA news programming with that timeframe), his revelations of corruption among Chinese communist leaders were published in much greater detail in a Washington Free Beacon article written by Bill Gertz. SEE: China’s Intelligence Networks in United States Include 25,000 Spies.
The President and CEO of the Hudson Institute is Kenneth R. Weinstein who is also presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors , the overseeing board of VOA’s parent federal agency with its annual budget of $740 million (FY 2017).
VOA Mandarin Service chief Dr. Sasha Gong and journalists, who had arranged for a live three-hour combination TV and Facebook interview with Guo Wengui in April, were opposed to VOA Director Amanda Bennett’s decision to have it shortened after the Chinese government informed VOA of its objections to the interview. In Bennett’s view, China’s communist rulers did not have a chance to examine Guo Wengui’s allegations in advance and to respond to them, which she said was a violation of “the journalistic principles of verification, balance and fairness that are standard industry practice and apply universally to all VOA services.” Previously, Bennett had encouraged VOA services to do more investigative reporting.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said later that the U.S. State Department had nothing to do with VOA senior management’s decision in this case. Responding to a question from Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Secretary Tillerson tentatively supported his call for an independent investigation of the interview incident by the Office of Inspector General (OIG).
ALSO SEE: Members of Congress request OIG investigation of VOA and BBG handling of Guo Wengui interview EXCLUSIVE, BBG Watch, September 30, 2017.
ALSO SEE: Do Voice of America and BBG officials have conflicts of interest in China?, BBG Watch, October 3, 2017.