"The system is blinking red right now," an unnamed senior FBI official was quoted as saying in a recent report from the Center for Strategic and International studies (CSIS). "We have not seen this level of Chinese intelligence and influence activity in and around the U.S. homeland ever."
China is using all means short of war "to expand the influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and weaken the United States and its partners," the report continued.
"This campaign involves sophisticated Chinese espionage activities, offensive cyber operations, disinformation on social media platforms, economic coercion, and influence operations targeting companies, universities, and other organizations."
This unprecedented level of Chinese intelligence and influence activity is happening under President Joe Biden, who in February 2022 shut down the Justice Department program known as the China Initiative, which had been focused on countering Chinese espionage. The alleged reason for the shutdown was that it "unfairly painted Chinese Americans and U.S. residents of Chinese origin as disloyal."
Biden's closing the China Initiative played, of course, right into the CCP's hands. Again, according to the report:
"China is conducting an increasingly active and aggressive campaign to penetrate a wide range of U.S. academic institutions, companies, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)."
While the Biden administration worries about political correctness, the Chinese Communist Party is successfully using every means at its disposal to weaken the US in all fields.
Here are just a few examples:
- For more than two and a half decades, China has been stealing US intellectual property, trade secrets and technology, causing the US a cumulative loss that has been estimated at around at least $600 billion. As a consequence, China now leads in 37 out of 44 crucial technologies in the technology race with the US.
- Since 2014, China has hacked and stolen the data of about 80% of Americans, according to Bill Evanina, former Director of the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center.
- China has sought to infiltrate leading US institutions, including the Federal Reserve, to "supplant the U.S. as the global economic leader and end the U.S. dollar's status as the world's primary reserve currency," a 2022 Senate report revealed.
- China is waging a disinformation and propaganda campaign in the US that has influenced Americans, especially its elites. According to Miles Maochun Yu, Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, "a significant portion of America's intellectual and political elites share the responsibility for perpetrating key CCP propaganda agendas, including misleading the American public to minimize the degree to which the PRC is still a country ruled by a Marxist-Leninist communist party. The manipulation of language is a prime example of this endeavor. Few people in the United States refer to the Chinese supreme leader by his real title, and the only one that matters: General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, who is without an exception a die-hard communist ideologue in command of a ruthless Leninist Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Instead, most Americans have almost universally, and falsely, rebranded him as 'president' of China, a much more democratic-sounding but meaningless honorific."
The FBI has named China as "a grave threat to the economic well-being and democratic values of the United States" and said that confronting this threat is "the FBI's top counterintelligence priority." However, instead of focusing all available resources on countering this "grave threat" from the CCP on all fronts, the Biden administration has been busy institutionalizing woke ideology in the federal bureaucracy -- including in the military and institutions such as NASA.
The Biden administration, under an executive order issued in February 2023, now requires all federal agencies to present annual "equity action plans" in order to "advance an ambitious, whole-of-government approach to racial equity and support for underserved communities." Since Biden became president, the military alone has spent close to 6 million hours on diversity, climate change and "extremism."
The other focal point for the Biden administration has been mitigating "climate change" -- all while China, during 2022, has been approving the construction of two new coal plants per week.
The US under Biden is arguably not even close to countering the threat that China poses or perhaps even properly understanding it. According to the CSIS:
"[A] close analysis of Chinese activity indicates that Beijing has conducted a broad political warfare campaign against the United States and its partners across the globe. To conduct these actions, Beijing invests substantial resources in understanding the United States, including in translating documents and exploring the contours of U.S. culture and politics. The China International Communications Group, which is owned and operated by the CCP's Central Propaganda Department, distributes the CCP line on numerous issues to overseas audiences, directs research on foreign media, and conducts language training programs. The English-language training market in China was approximately $75 billion in China in 2022... In contrast, the market size for all language instruction in the United States was only $1.5 billion in 2022. Even though China has a much larger population than the United States, Beijing still spends roughly 14 times more per capita on English language training than the United States does on all language training. More broadly, the U.S. government and private sector have failed to invest in the language skills and expertise to effectively compete with China.
"U.S. leaders during the Cold War would have been horrified at this discrepancy. The U.S. government invested significant resources in conducting information campaigns and translating Soviet documents into English..."
The Biden administration has unfortunately shown itself to be unable to stop, or even limit, China's continued rise. On the contrary, the connections of Biden's son, Hunter Biden, to China could mean that the US president is beholden to the Chinese Communist Party. Meanwhile, at a recent press conference, when asked whether the administration is concerned that Hunter Biden's ties to China "pose a national security issue," White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan replied, "I don't have any comment on that."
Robert Williams is a researcher based in the United States.