2020 Oct 22, 5:27pm
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For decades, conventional wisdom in the United States held that it was only a matter of time before China would become more liberal, first economically and then politically. We could not have been more wrong—a miscalculation that stands as the greatest failure of U.S. foreign policy since the 1930s. How did we make such a mistake? Primarily by ignoring the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party. Instead of listening to the CCP’s leaders and reading its key documents, we believed what we wanted to believe: that the Chinese ruling party is communist in name only.Today, it would be a similarly grave mistake to assume that this ideology matters only within China. In fact, the CCP’s ideological agenda extends far beyond the country’s borders and represents a threat to the idea of democracy itself, including in the United States. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitions for control are not limited to the people of China. Across the globe, the CCP aims to spread propaganda, restrict speech, and exploit personal data to malign ends. The United States, accordingly, cannot simply ignore the CCP’s ideological objectives. Washington must understand that the fight against Chinese aggression first requires recognizing it and defending ourselves against it here at home, before it is too late. ...For many years, the CCP’s leaders have emphasized the importance of “ideological security.” A 2013 Chinese policy on the “current state of ideology” held that there should be “absolutely no opportunity or outlets for incorrect thinking or viewpoints to spread.” ...Efforts to extend this control of information and expression globally are well underway. Nearly every Chinese-language news outlet in the United States is owned by the CCP or follows its editorial line. Americans hear pro-Beijing propaganda on more than a dozen FM radio stations. ...Chinese-owned TikTok deletes accounts criticizing CCP policies. Since August 2019, Twitter has removed more than 170,000 CCP-linked accounts for spreading “manipulative and coordinated” propaganda. It is no coincidence that China has expelled so many Western reporters in recent months—Beijing wants the world to get its news about China, and especially about the origins of the novel coronavirus, from its own propaganda organs. ...When the general manager of the Houston Rockets basketball team tweeted his support for peaceful protesters in Hong Kong, the CCP announced that Rockets games would not be shown on Chinese TV and pressed others associated with the league, including star players, to criticize the tweet. Under pressure from the CCP, American, Delta, and United Airlines removed references to Taiwan from their websites and in-flight magazines. Mercedes Benz apologized for posting an inspirational quote from the Dalai Lama. MGM digitally changed the nationality of an invading military from Chinese to North Korean in a remake of the movie Red Dawn. In the credits for its 2020 remake of Mulan, Disney thanked public security and propaganda bureaus in Xinjiang, where the CCP has locked up millions of minorities in concentration camps.The CCP is also gathering leverage over individuals by collecting Americans’ data—their words, purchases, whereabouts, health records, posts, texts, and social networks. This data is collected through security flaws and backdoors in hardware, software, telecommunications, and genetics products (many operated by CCP-subsidized businesses such as Huawei and ZTE) as well as by theft. Beijing hacked Anthem Health Insurance in 2014; the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which holds security clearance information on millions of government employees, in 2015; Equifax in 2017; and Marriot Hotels in 2019. In these instances alone, the CCP gathered key information on at least half of all living Americans, including their names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, credit scores, health records, and passport numbers. The CCP will use this data the same way it uses data within China’s borders: to target, influence, harass, and even blackmail Americans to say and do things that serve the CCP’s interests. ... In many cases, the CCP’s reach extends to the heads of international organizations who are not themselves Chinese officials. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization dutifully repeated false Chinese talking points on the novel coronavirus outbreak—even opposing international travel restrictions on China while praising China’s own domestic travel restrictions.American policymakers, under President Donald Trump’s leadership, are aware of what the CCP is doing and are taking decisive action to counter it across the board. The Department of Justice and the FBI are directing resources to identify foreign agents seeking to influence U.S. policy. The DOJ, for example, informed Chinese state media company CGTN America of its obligation to register as a foreign agent as specified under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires registrants to disclose their activities to federal authorities and appropriately label information materials they distribute. The State Department designated the U.S. operations of nine Chinese state-controlled propaganda outlets as “foreign missions”—which places personnel and property reporting requirements on them—and implemented a policy requiring Chinese diplomats to notify and, in some cases, seek permission from the U.S. government before meeting with state and local government officials and academic institutions. ...The Trump administration is also working to highlight China’s malign behavior, counter false narratives, and compel transparency. U.S. officials are leading efforts to educate the American public about the exploitation of the United States’ free and open society to push a CCP agenda inimical to U.S. interests and values. ...The days of American passivity and naivety are over, and we will continue to speak about and respond to the CCP as it is, not as former U.S. policymakers had wished it to be. The 2017 National Security Strategy calls this approach “principled realism.”Lasting peace comes through strength. The United States is the strongest country on earth, and it must speak out, fight back, and above all, stay true to its principles—especially freedom of speech—which stand in stark contrast to the Marxist-Leninist ideology embraced by the CCP.
Statehood for Hong Kong! Trump needs to announce it tonight at the debate and celebrate the 51st state