While the mainstream New Mexico media has refused to cover Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s deep connection to Communist China, the Piñon Post has been the only outlet to do an in-depth dive into Lujan Grisham’s connections with the oppressive country.
In December 2020, we covered all the Governor’s meetings with Chinese officials, but not until now have we received correspondences showing details about the Democrat governor’s April 11, 2019 meeting with Chinese Consul General Zhang Ping and what specific topics were covered in the secretive closed-door meeting.
Zhang Ping is a high-ranking communist Chinese official who has repeatedly spread propaganda whitewashing Communist China’s humanitarian failures and oppression of its people. For example, here is an excerpt from Ambassador Zhang Ping’s speech given months after he met with Gov. Lujan Grisham:
“Over the past seven decades, staying true to its original aspiration and mission for pursuing happiness of the Chinese people and for rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, adhering to the people-centered approach, the Chinese Communist Party has united the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a strenuous struggle to build a strong and prosperous country, opened up a road that fits China’s own conditions, that is, socialism with Chinese characteristics, and accomplished the most profound and the greatest social transformation ever occurred in the country’s history.”
According to the newly unearthed documents exclusive to the Piñon Post, obtained via an Inspection of Public Records Act request, we now know that the Governor spoke with the Chinese ambassador in a “private meeting room” after her public photo-op that she posted on Twitter describing the supposed meeting.
In a May follow-up email from Zhang Ping’s office, Junying Shao, Director of Political Section for the consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles, who was at the April 11, 2019 meeting, wrote to Lujan Grisham’s senior advisor and former chief of staff while the now-governor was in Congress, Dominic Gabello, that “We understand the Governor is interested in China-US Governor’s Forum but may not be able to attend this year due to her schedule. We welcome The Governor to visit China next year and attend the Forum as it is scheduled to be hosted by China.” Gabello was also at the April meeting.
Previously in August of 2017–eight months after announcing her run for New Mexico’s governorship–Lujan Grisham was spotted at a photo-op at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing. It appears she was the only U.S. representative on the trip, and she posed multiple times with China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zheng Zeguang. For reference, other photographs of world leaders posing at the same location can be found here.
Regarding particulars of the meeting, the May 24, 2019 email from Junying Shao reads, “[T]he Consul General and the Governor also talked about the establishment of sister-state relationship between NM and certain state (we call it “province” in China). We are working on that. May I know what is [a] further idea on your end about this, any standard, or requirement on the potential sister state from China?”
In another email from April 13, 2019, a Xinlian Liu from the Chinese Consulate wrote to Gabello that the meeting between the Governor and the Ambassador was “pleasant and fruitful.”
Here’s what the email read:
Hi Dear Dominic,
It is a great honor to meet you in Albuquerque. Thank you so much for attending the meeting between the Honorable Governor and my ambassador. The meeting was pleasant and fruitful. Thank you so much for making all these happen. We highly appreciate your support and help.
I am back now in LA and start to miss the enchanted land. If anything brings you to LA, please let me know. Let us have authentic Chinese food.
Have a nice weekend.
Also, it appears that the Chinese consulate director of the political section attempted to guide the Governor’s hand in condemning the visit of Tibet’s democratically elected leader of the country’s government-in-exile state, Dr. Lobsang Sangay, who was chosen as the successor to the Dali Lama in 2012.
The Chinese official wrote referring to a May 24, 2019 proclamation by the City of Santa Fe that it had officially proclaimed a “Friendship Between Santa Fe Indian School, Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, and Tibetan People Day.” In 2017, Dr. Sangay, who traveled from India where he is being protected, spoke at the Santa Fe Indian School for a speaker series.
Junying Shao wrote to Cabello:
“The last but not least, there is one thing we would like to get your attention. We got to know someone whom Chinese government opposes and condemns is going to visit Santa Fe in coming days. His name is L[o]bsang Sangay, who conducts activities to gain sympathy or support in international community which aim against Chinese government, particularly for the independence of Tibet, part of China. It is anti-china act [sic]. We sincerely request officials of high ranking as Governor or local officials in NM not be in any contact with him during his visit. We sincerely hope to get your attention of our stance and pass it to the Governor.”
Although Cabello did not appear to respond to Junying Shao’s email, a later email shows that in February 2020, Consul General Zhang Ping spoke with Lujan Grisham’s executive policy advisor for Health and Human Services, Jane Wishner.
An email from Junying Shao reveals more details about that conversation:
“Dear Anna (Gov. Lujan Grisham’s scheduler) and Dominic, many thanks for the facilitation. Consul General and Governor’s health policy advisor Jane had a good talk on the Covid-19 last Friday. He also sends best wishes to the Governor and expresses his will on the efforts for further exchange and cooperation between NM and China. Thanks again and keep in touch. If you happen to come to LA, please let me know. Regards, Junying.”
Also at the meeting, according to documents obtained from the Governor’s office, was Deborah Burns, managing partner at “InvestUS LLC,” a company that invests in real estate in major markets. She also reportedly “was involved in bringing the US/China business matchmaking conference to Albuquerque in October of 2017.”
The Governor’s office has been contacted for comment, but as with every time we have attempted to receive a response, we have never received one. Records from Gov. Lujan Grisham’s days in Congress and meetings with communist Chinese officials have not been available for release since Congress is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).