Chinese influence in Utah leads to push for change in state law
The article reports on concerns about Chinese influence on Utah's politics and economy, and specifically about the role of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in facilitating that influence.
The article begins by noting that Utah has deep economic ties to China, with many Utah companies doing business there, and that this has led to concerns about Chinese influence on the state's politics. The article then goes on to describe a recent report by the Utah State Legislature's Office of the Legislative Auditor General, which found that the LDS Church had helped to facilitate Chinese influence on the state's politics and economy.
According to the report, the LDS Church has close ties to China, and has used its influence to promote Chinese interests in Utah. The report cites several examples of this, including the Church's support for a Chinese-backed company that was seeking to build a rail line in the state, and the Church's hosting of a Chinese delegation in 2017 that included several high-ranking government officials.
The article then goes on to describe how some Utah lawmakers are now pushing for changes to state law that would require greater transparency and disclosure around foreign influence in the state's politics and economy. The proposed changes include requiring companies that do business with foreign governments to register with the state, and requiring lobbyists for foreign interests to disclose their activities.
The article also notes that the LDS Church has responded to the report by saying that it "takes seriously its responsibilities to comply with all applicable laws and regulations governing its activities," and that it "does not engage in or support any political or government activities in any country."
Overall, the article paints a picture of concern about Chinese influence on Utah's politics and economy, and specifically about the role of the LDS Church in facilitating that influence. It also highlights efforts by some Utah lawmakers to address these concerns through changes to state law.