Chinese Paper Attacks Critic of San Francisco Chinatown Power Broker Rose
Tao Daily on Aug. 23, reads “Ed Lee is welcomed and gets support in Chinatown
for his campaign." The headline of the second article translates as “Peskin
tries to make Ed Lee look like a ‘red-baiter’ and makes the public upset." (The
Sing Tao, a Chinese-language daily newspaper in San Francisco, launched an
exhaustive broadside against former president of the Board of Supervisors Aaron
Peskin on Aug. 23. The article described him as a racist and a “red-baiter,"
compared him to former U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, and called on all Asian
candidates to “denounce him openly and refuse a DCCC endorsement." (Peskin is
Chairman of the Democratic County Central Committee.)
The article was
written in response to interviews Peskin gave to The Epoch Times and its media
partners recently. In those interviews, he alleged that incumbent Mayor Ed Lee
is controlled by Chinatown power broker Rose Pak, and that Pak serves the
interests of the People’s Republic of China.
But the Sing Tao response,
which was as much fiery editorial as reporting, might only serve to strengthen Peskin’s point
about the way that influence is peddled in San Francisco politics, and about the
connections that extend back to China.
The article is over 2,600
characters long in its original Chinese, and takes a format familiar to readers
of Chinese Communist publications: testimonials are given one after another of
prominent people all denouncing the target of the attack.
sub-section highlights another aspect of Peskin’s supposed misdeeds. An
individual from “Ed Lee’s election" camp kicks it off, calling Peskin “The
Joseph McCarthy of San Francisco" who wishes to bring a “White Terror" upon the
Then comes Rose Pak: “I’m actually not surprised by these racist
remarks by Peskin. Actually, many liberals are racists, their true colors are
being shown now.”
Pak went on to complain that civil rights groups that should defend
the Chinese community against racism were silent, naming the ACLU, Chinese for
Affirmative Action, and the Asian Law Caucus in particular.
Sing Tao, “Peskin’s picking nits about she [Pak] and Ed Lee going to China to
travel several times is precisely the manifestation of racism."
adds, in a Sing Tao paraphrase, that “Peskin wants to frighten the public,
intimidate them so that Asian people don’t participate in the course of democracy."
A cast of characters in the
Chinese community are then marched out, each in turn, to single out Peskin.
Subheading highlights include: “Vincent Pan: You Can Raise Questions, But
Shouldn’t Use Double Standards to Judge Chinese Traveling to China," “Annie
Chung: Groundless Nonsense," “Alicia Wang: Strive to Urge Chinese to Register to
Vote" (against Peskin), “Sue Lee: Inconceivable, Racial Discrimination to Such a
Stupid Extent," and “Ling-chi Wang: Peskin is a Political Opportunist."
The article concludes on the racial note, pointing out
“extreme disappointment" with the fact that the DCCC did not endorse any Chinese
A Loyal Newspaper
Sing Tao has 16 global editions in 100 countries, all controlled by the
headquarters in Hong Kong, according to an investigation by the Sydney Morning Herald.
The Chinese regime’s United
Front Work Department, which grooms friends and isolates enemies of the
Communist Party, has been assiduous in courting Sing Tao’s publisher, the
cigarette tycoon Charles Ho, the Heraldreports; the paper characterize him as
“possibly the single most important link in its overseas Chinese propaganda
Ho was furnished with a seat on the standing committee of the
Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and Sing Tao went into a
media distribution joint venture with People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s
official mouthpiece. Ho also helped set up Xinhua Online, another major mouthpiece of the regime.
The Executive-Editor in Chief of Sing Tao in the United States, Larry
Lee, is a former editor of People’s Daily in China.
August 2008 The Epoch Times reported on a major discrepancy between a report in Sing Tao that was supposed to be a
translation from its business partner, the Toronto Daily.
It was found
that in its “translation" Sing Tao had deleted quotes critical of the Chinese
Communist Party’s Tibet policy, inserted several paragraphs of pro-regime and
anti-Western boilerplate, and massaged the original piece into something quite
After the story broke it was reported widely in the Canadian
media. A group of ten Chinese-Canadians penned a joint letter to the Toronto
Star saying that Sing Tao had introduced a “propagandist and demagogic slant
into the reportage.”
Sing Tao has also been active in spreading anti-Falun Gong propaganda abroad,
in one particularly egregious case attempting to link the 9/11 terrorist attacks
with the traditional Chinese spiritual practice. In another incident, it was
issued an injunction by the Quebec Supreme Court for libel and slander against
A Personal Connection
of Supervisors. (Wu Jiangu/The Epoch Times)
The editor-in-chief of
Sing Tao Daily in San Francisco is Joseph Leung. Joseph Leung is married to
Sally Leung. And Sally Leung is a “confidential secretary" to Ed Lee, and has
been since he was installed as mayor—an installation that was orchestrated by
Rose Pak, according to reports at the time.
Ms. Leung confirmed her job position in a telephone interview on Aug.
24, but when was asked to confirm that she was married to the editor in chief of
Sing Tao, she balked. She said that was personal information and would say no
more. It is widely known in San Francisco, however.
conversation Ms. Leung said she read the Chinese press in San Francisco every
day. But when the reporter read out the title
of the recent article in Sing Tao attacking Peskin, she said she had not seen
A review of Sing Tao’s previous articles on the election shows an
inclincation to positive coverage of Lee.
A news article after he announced his candidacy for mayor says
“the Chinese community reacted enthusiastically." Pak appeared in the first line
endorsing Lee on behalf of all Chinese people in San Francisco.
Other reports give friendly coverage to Lee and his
election campaign slogans, and in a comparison of how frequently his name
appears in Sing Tao compared to other candidates, Lee wins hands down (at 225,
the second-highest being 171)—though this could be connected with the fact that
Lee is the incumbent.
Howard Wong, co-chair of “Better Chinatown
Tomorrow,” a local organization that promotes culture and arts, saw a
translation of the Sing Tao piece prepared by The Epoch Times.
unfortunate because Rose Pak in the past unfortunately had often—I did hear her
say that in public: when someone disagreed with her, imply that someone was
racist," he said. “I think that doesn’t serve the Chinese community well… I
think that we can argue the issues on their merit rather than accusing someone
of being racist."
How about the McCarthy analogy? “McCarthy? Like the
McCarthy era? Back in the old days…" he said, thinking. “That is a strange
The Epoch Times contacted Lee’s campaign office.
At press time, no one from that office had commented as to whether someone from
Lee’s electoral staff has described Peskin as the “Joseph McCarthy of San
Francisco." Aaron Peskin was unable to comment by press time.
additional reporting by Wu Jianguo, and research by Cathy Zhang of New Tang