Last year, we looked at a few stories about the Chinese Communist Party setting up secret “police stations” in other countries, including one located right in New York City. The CCP claimed that they were simply foreign offices providing services to Chinese expats living abroad, but it seemed obvious that they were hunting down some of their own people who dared to speak out about the Chinese government and its policies. Those activities drew the interest of the Justice Department as well, and in April of this year, two men associated with the Manhattan operation were arrested.
At that time we began learning a few things about the Chinese outfit, including the fact that it had been hosted in the offices of The American Changle Association. (The operation has since been shut down.) The Changle Association’s last president, James Lu, had made significant political contributions to Big Apple Mayor Eric Adams and the group hosted him at their final annual gala. It seemed like an odd affiliation, but not immediately incriminating in any way. But now, National Review has published an exclusive discovery. One of the people arrested in April, Jianwang “Harry” Lu, appeared to have close ties to two of Adams’ senior advisers and they even traveled to China with him in 2019. What in the Sam Hill was going with this group?
Two longtime advisers to New York City mayor Eric Adams traveled in China with one of the defendants in the U.S. Justice Department’s case against an illegal Chinese-government-run police station that operated in Manhattan, National Review has learned.
The presence of that individual, Jianwang “Harry” Lu, on the 2019 trip to China — before Adams became mayor — alongside members of Adams’s inner circle indicates that his administration has closer ties to the defendant than it has disclosed. Lu was arrested in April on charges related to operating the police station and doing the Chinese government’s bidding.
His participation in the trip is being reported here for the first time. He is believed by federal prosecutors to have entered into a “relationship of trust” with the Chinese government, stretching back to at least 2015, after which he assisted Beijing’s efforts to hunt down Chinese dissidents in America.
The Adams advisers who went on the trip to China were Winnie Greco and Jesse Hamilton, the latter of whom previously served as a state senator. They spent much of their time in Gulou, China, meeting with regional officials and touring places including cultural centers and a school. The stated purpose of the trip was to “promote diversity” in Brooklyn and conduct outreach to the Asian-American community in New York. National Review further learned that Brooklyn and Gulou are described as “sister cities” in some promotional material.
Nothing about this is illegal as far as we know and National Review isn’t insinuating that it is. When asked for a comment, Eric Adams’ office defended Winnie Greco fiercely, sounding as if they were accusing NR of anti-Asian racism just for asking the question. They made no comment about Jesse Hamilton or Harry Lu.
But with all of that said, sometimes when there is smoke you will also find fire, and there is some serious smoke starting to swirl around this story. You will recall Mr. Jimmy Lu, who I mentioned above as being a political donor to Eric Adams when he was the president of the Changle Association. Jimmy just happens to be the brother of Harry Lu, one of the people who was arrested in April and who went on the trip to China with Adams’ aides. Adams claims to have returned the donations he received from Jimmy Lu and says that he doesn’t really know either of the Lu brothers. But does that seem likely?
NR goes on to point out that just last month, Eric Adams was criticized because he went with the aforementioned Winnie Greco to participate in a dragon-boat race sponsored by the government of Hong Kong. The CCP now entirely controls Hong Kong in all but name. The other aide, Jesse Hamilton, has his own ties to China and has long been a vocal supporter of Chinese officials and their outreach efforts in the United States.
Again, we don’t have any sort of smoking gun here leading directly to Eric Adams or any of his staff. No crimes by any of them have been alleged. Perhaps the Lu brothers were really just enthusiastic supporters of Sino-American relations who just coincidentally also ran a secret police station on the side and Team Adams saw an opportunity to spur more investments in the New York City area by the Chinese. It’s a strategy that has been employed by many political figures all over America. But it’s also not impossible that there was more going on behind the scenes. As I said… smoke, fire, remarkable “coincidences.” We’ll need to keep digging.