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A Rockefeller family nonprofit is sending millions in cash to China-based entities, many of which have strong ties to China's communist government.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) identifies China as a "pivotal place" for grantmaking opportunities. As part of their investments, the Rockefellers fund numerous environmental groups in the region that are linked to Chinese Communist Party members or bolster multibillion-dollar government initiatives that critics say are trapping countries in debt spirals.
"With innovative government policy, a vibrant marketplace, and growing public participation, China has the potential to lead the world in sustainable approaches to development," the group's 2019 tax forms state. The RBF established its China-focused grantmaking program in 2005 to assist efforts "by engaging with and fostering collaborations among the government, business, civil society, and academia."
According to a review of the group’s most recent tax forms, RBF devoted $750,000 to the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, which has a "direct channel" to China's State Council, the highest administrative authority of the Chinese government. It is chaired by high-ranking CCP official Han Zheng, the vice-premier of the State Council. In addition, the foundation donated $100,000 each to the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Lancang-Mekong Environmental Cooperation Center, both of which are controlled by the Chinese government.
The RBF has also awarded thousands of dollars to nonprofit groups that are led by Chinese Communist Party members and ex-government officials. Nearly $400,000 went to the China Environmental Protection Foundation, a nominally independent nonprofit that is spearheaded by senior Chinese Communist Party members. The foundation also gave $600,000 to the Guangdong Harmony Foundation, another CCP-linked nonprofit.
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