Former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly is running as a Democrat to unseat Arizona GOP Sen. Martha McSally. Good thing, too. It’s high time a Democrat came in and showed the GOP how to conduct business 100% above-board and fight even the appearance of corruption and conflict of interest.

Wait … what’s all this about a relationship with China?

More from RealClearPolitics:

Kelly, however, has been far more reticent about the investment by a Chinese company in a commercial space exploration venture he co-founded.  The company, tech giant Tencent, is one of the world’s largest internet enterprises and owns the Chinese social media platform WeChat. The text platform has more than a billion users and is suspected of monitoring the activity of many of them inside and outside of China.

In the fall of 2014, the CEO of World View Enterprises, the company Kelly co-founded, announced during a visit to Beijing that Tencent had invested an undisclosed sum of money in the Tucson-based space travel venture. In April 2016, as part of a subsequent, $15 million investment round, World View announced that it had received more funds from Tencent, along with three other venture capital firms.

Tencent was already under intense U.S. scrutiny before the COVID-19 world crisis. In addition to the surveillance suspicions, Tencent also sparked a U.S. backlash for suspending its streaming of National Basketball Association games after the Houston Rockets’ general manager praised Hong Kong democracy protests last fall.

Now it’s radioactive. A recent University of Toronto study found that WeChat has been censoring keywords relating to the COVID-19 outbreak since at least Jan. 1. Several prominent lawmakers in recent weeks have deemed Tencent an arm of the Chinese Communist Party and a threat to U.S. national security. Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley in late April introduced a bill aimed at preventing Chinese espionage by prohibiting U.S. federal employees from conducting official business over platforms run by Tencent, Huawei, ZTE and other Chinese companies and barring U.S. tax dollars from being used for any international contracts with those firms.

It’s worth reading the whole thing. It’s eyebrow-raising, to say the least.

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