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US governors warned about Chinese influence

Posted at 7:20 PM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 19:20:46-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — As South Florida deals with cases of alleged Chinese espionage at military bases and Chinese citizens trespassing at Mar A Lago, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says governors need to be cautious about dealing with the Chinese.

"It’s happening in your state with consequences for our foreign policy,” Pompeo told the National Governors Association in Washington over the weekend.

Pompeo says China has already keep score on how friendly each governor is towards the Chinese government and he also cautioned them about Chinese Friendship organizations that he says are controlled by the communist government in Beijing.

“Chinese communist friendship organizations like the one I referenced earlier are in Richmond, Minneapolis, Portland Jupiter Florida and many other cities around,” Pompeo said.

One organization in Jupiter, the US Chinese Peoples Friendship Association has apparently been around for years. Their website displays cultural activities and events.

A member reached by phone says they are not a political organization.

Florida Senator Rick Scott believes American businesses and governments are carefully watched by Beijing.

“I think every American citizen has to say to themselves China has become a real adversary,” Senator Scott says.