In continuing with the previous article from Mandiant, we are shown evidence indicating not only news, but in-person protest demonstrations are purported to have also been commissioned by agents of the Chinese Communist Party.
In addition to commissioning campaign support in the dissemination phases of HaiEnergy-attributed operations, we have evidence to suggest the campaign may have also financed at least two staged in-person protests in Washington, D.C. Both protests, which occurred around June and September 2022, were documented via video and subsequently used as source material to support campaign-promoted narratives published by assets and infrastructure leveraged by HaiEnergy.
The first protest we suspect to have been manufactured by the campaign was allegedly in response to the 2022 International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit—an annual event held in Washington, D.C. aimed at bringing awareness to restrictions on religious freedom. The second protest appears to have been manufactured in response to a June 2022 decision by the U.S. Government to ban all goods produced in China’s Xinjiang region—a decision which came under the backdrop of continued allegations of human rights abuses against China’s ethnic-minority Uyghur population. In both videos, two small groups of protesters can be observed demonstrating in Washington, D.C., holding placards and chanting slogans intended to highlight U.S. domestic issues, such as racial discrimination and abortion, as well as criticize U.S. policy impacting the import of solar industry-specific components from Xinjiang—a key supplier of cheap critical components used by the solar panel manufacturing industry. As previously alluded to, HaiEnergy subsequently leveraged these videos to bolster campaign messaging.
The videos of these small protest demonstrations were then redistributed through their media network and made to look as though there was a groundswell of support against the ban on goods manufactured by slave labor in Eastern Turkestan (aka Xinjiang.)