Committee Recommends Major Initiative to Compete with and Counter the Chinese Communist Party’s Ideological and Information Warfare
Committee on the Present Danger: China Position Paper offers a Roadmap for Victory over the CCP
August 14, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Committee on the Present Danger: China (CPDC) today issued the second in a series of short “position papers” about the magnitude of the ideological assault on the United States being mounted by the Chinese Communist Party and how it might best be challenged and defeated in the information battlespace. In “Winning the Ideological Competition with the CCP,” the CPDC recalled that in April 2013, the Chinese Communists themselves explicitly identified the Party’s greatest weaknesses by urging members to guard against seven political “perils”: (1) constitutional democracy, (2) human rights, (3) civil society, (4) the free market, and (5) freedom of the press, along with (6) criticism of the history and (7) the ideology of the CCP.
In other words, our greatest strengths are the CCP’s greatest weaknesses. The CPDC believes that “Our policy should be one of relentlessly attacking these points of vulnerability.” The position paper lays out how that can be most effectively accomplished in each of those seven areas. Highlights of the Committee’s analysis and recommendations include the following:
- Strengthening Human Rights, Religious Freedom, and Democracy: Human rights have continued to deteriorate in China on virtually all fronts since Xi Jinping became Secretary General of the CCP in 2012, reaching levels not seen since Mao’s Cultural Revolution. The CCP’s crimes against humanity are legion and require, among others, the following responses: 1) Sanction all CCP officials engaged in human rights abuses, organ genocide, suppression of religious freedom and democracy in mainland China and the Captive Nations of Southern Mongolia, Tibet, East Turkistan and the territory of Hong Kong; 2) require disclosure of foreign funding by universities, think tanks and media outlets; and 3) protect North Korean refugees.
- Enhancing U.S. Alliances and Partnerships, Including with Taiwan: The CCP has made a concerted effort to disrupt the U.S.-dominated post-World War II security order that has largely kept the peace for decades in the Pacific. In the face of such threats as the construction and fortification of islands to control the South China Sea and economic, espionage and military provocations aimed at intimidating the region’s nations, the time has come to forge multilateral partnerships in the region and in the world specifically aimed at countering the present danger from China, including by: 1) establishing in-theater a new allied command center for dealing with any military attacks in the East and South China Seas; 2) deepening and expanding information security arrangements with our allies, friends and emerging partners; 3) promoting the Quad and Quad Plus across all domains of national power, including via annual training exercises in the South China Sea with Taiwanese military participation; and 4) beginning operational level planning for the defense of Taiwan and port calls/rotational deployment by U.S. military forces to the island and expanded arms sales there.
- Employing Information Statecraft: In 2014, Xi Jinping ordered the CCP to “increase China’s soft power, and give a good Chinese narrative.” A massive propaganda effort ensued, involving among other things the creation of extensive communications vehicles that have given the CCP’s information operations global reach. Consequently, the United States must: 1) counter CCP propaganda and disinformation: This effort should involve the strengthening of every broadcast medium within the Voice of America and Radio Free Asia – short-wave and medium-wave radio, television, and internet – as well as the development of new technologies to reach foreign audiences, including digital radio and satellite radio; and 2) engage in offensive counter-messaging to break through “the Great Firewall” and push back CCP narratives: The U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) should actively support U.S. public diplomacy and serve as a voice of freedom to peoples who lack a free media. For example, USAGM’s operations should expose the Chinese to honest history, alternative ideas, and freedom of religion. A truthful recounting of the CCP’s past campaigns of terror will, by itself, be tremendously corrosive to CCP legitimacy.
- Exposing the CCP’s global corruption: The CCP’s illegitimacy can also be intensified by showcasing the pervasiveness and severity of the CCP’s corrupt practices at home and abroad. The BBC reported in late 2016 that “over one million officials” were charged with corruption during the first three years of Xi Jinping’s reign.” That number has doubled in the years since as the so-called “anti-corruption campaign” has continued, primarily directed at Xi’s political enemies.
- Challenging the CCP’s efforts to spread “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” around the world and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): The CCP’s outreach to other nations has been less ideological than economic. The reason is that its governing ideology, called “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics,” is a distinctly Chinese ideology with racist overtones more akin to National Socialism than to Communism. This should be highlighted in our counter-messaging.
While CCP ideology has very limited appeal to non-Han Chinese, its massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which involves the CCP’s provision of low interest rate loans to fund massive infrastructure projects, has generated considerable interest in developing countries. Over the past couple of years, however, it has become increasingly clear that the BRI in practice is actually “debt trap” diplomacy. American officials should point out that this constitutes a new kind of neocolonialism and indicate that alternative financing may be available for projects with economic potential. By characterizing the targeted countries as incipient “Captive Nations,” we can draw them into a potentially potent domestic and international group with existing ones like Southern Mongolia, Tibet, East Turkistan and the territory of Hong Kong.
- Contesting CCP influence in international organizations: China has, in recent years and through various machinations, managed to place CCP officials in top jobs at four of the 15 specialized UN agencies. Other agencies are headed by individuals whose candidacies the CCP supported and amount to Chinese puppets. The most infamous of these is the head of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who appears to have conspired with Beijing to cover up the CCP virus outbreak until it had reached pandemic proportions.
Those the CCP entrusts with running international organizations are expected to serve the Party’s interests, rather than those of the institution in question or the international community’s. America should resolutely oppose each and every candidate put forward by China, without exception. The recent successful effort to defeat the CCP’s candidate to become the director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an example of what needs to happen going forward.
- Denouncing the CCP’s Environmental Predations: China’s air, lakes, rivers and soils suffer from some of the most severe pollution on the planet. And Chinese air pollution affects other countries as well, even those on the other side of the globe. The aggressive building of large dams, such as the Three Gorges Dam, has also caused immense damage to the environment in China and beyond. It behooves us to document and weaponize this record of malfeasance since Chinese citizens who raise these and other environmental concerns, risk persecution and imprisonment.
The Committee on the Present Danger: China encourages executive branch officials, Members of Congress and their staff, the media and the public at large to view this Position Paper and those that will be issued in the coming days as prescriptions for a secure future for this country, its people and those of the Free World more generally.
To interview representatives of the Committee on the Present Danger: China, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.