by ELISSA SALAMY, The National Desk
WASHINGTON (TND) — According to watchdog group Open the Books, $25,000 in taxpayer money is being used to grow China’s surfing community.
“Our tax dollars are funding surfers in the South China Sea,” said Open The Books’ Adam Andrzejewski to The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat. “Our State Department's using taxpayer dollars to fund grants to the surfing community in the South China Sea.”
The $25,000 federal grant aims to “engage Hainan’s surfing community and local environmentally active social media influencers on the topic of climate change and impacts to ocean environments.” Activities included in the grant include surfing clinics and environmental and climate discussions.
“It's a paid-for beach party for officials over at the U.S. Consulate, the State Department in China. They get to participate in the surf clinic,” said Andrzejewski. “I don't want to see the video with our U.S. State Department officials dressed up in wet suits frolicking on the beach with the Chinese surfing community.”
The grant aims to share a video addressing local ocean communities, with the goal of amassing one million views on Chinese platforms.
“What if they only get 900,000 views on their surf video on the Chinese-owned platform TikTok?” said Andrzejewski. “Do they have to pay the money back? I hope so.”