Of the current human rights violations being committed by the Chinese Communist Party, the persecution of Falun Gong is probably the worst one. There are several reasons behind that.
First, the persecution targets around 100 million Falun Gong practitioners from all walks of life, as well as their family members. Second, the principles of Falun Gong, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, are consistent with traditional Chinese culture and fundamentally contradict the core theories of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), namely, deceit, violence, and hatred. Third, the peaceful nature and determination of Falun Gong practitioners shown over the past 21 years of resisting the harsh persecution has provided hope for other religious groups, as well as ordinary citizens, in this unprecedented, totalitarian country.
Still, some people in the West may think the danger of communism is too distant and have not taken it seriously. In fact, we have seen in the coronavirus pandemic and the U.S. general election that communist ideology has crept into the free world in the past few decades, causing real and imminent threats in many areas.
Below is a detailed analysis.
Loudon: Communism Infiltrates America in Various Forms
Trevor Loudon, former Vice President of the ACT New Zealand Party, has written several books on international politics. Among them, Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress has drawn broad attention.
For some readers, the term “progressive” might be more appealing than “liberal,” although many consider it another hat of liberals due to its notoriety. Likewise, despite their similarities, some also think liberals focus on changing society with taxpayers' money while progressives advocate more power for the government to change the social and legal system.
Enemies Within is designed to show American voters exactly how modern communism works and how it impacts your life, every single day. Just how do the communists win big on things like Obamacare and immigration “reform,” which go completely against the wishes of the American people?” writes Loudon in his book.
His research has been cited in many articles, blog posts, and books. Loudon has given countless radio interviews and addressed audiences in more than 30 states in his four tours of the United States.
The 2016 U.S. presidential election was special in recent American history. When Donald Trump appeared to be winning, mainstream media began to launch massive attacks on him. Some people also held protests in many cities and groundlessly labeled Trump a racist and a Nazi. Besides these hateful claims, they demanded vote recounts and threatened to impeach him.
Although these protests were claimed to be “spontaneous,” investigators found they were planned activities. Furthermore, their organizers were closely connected with North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and other authoritarian regimes, according to the documentary America Under Siege: Civil War 2017 by Loudon. In particular, two of these organizations, the Workers World Party (WWP) and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (now Liberation Road) are communist groups.
In his research, Loudon found communists viewed America as a primary target for infiltration and subversion. Approaching the country in various forms, communists have controlled American education and media and infiltrated its politics and businesses. As a result, ideology in the U.S. has gradually shifted toward a communist totalitarian regime over the past several decades.
In other words, as the Cold War ended, people assumed the free world had defeated the communist bloc, moving towards democracy, stability, and prosperity. In reality, communists had secretly seized the West in politics, economy, culture, education, and media, ready for a final, deadly strike.
Schweizer: The CCP Is “Decapitate[ing] Our Political Leadership”
The irregularities and frauds related to the 2020 U.S. presidential election highlighted deep fissures of erosion in American society. In the past few weeks, hundreds of affidavits confirmed problems with one-sided spikes on the night of November 3, mail-in ballots, blocking poll watchers, and issues with Dominion voting system.
To some degree, this is similar to the persecution of Falun Gong by the CCP in China. Inside China, the CCP does not tolerate different opinions and has successfully suppressed any groups in a short time during past political campaigns. By targeting Falun Gong, a meditation group that represents China’s five-thousand-year-old culture with no political agenda, the CCP exposed itself for what it is: brutal, hateful, and deceitful. As more people awaken from the Party’s massive hate propaganda, the CCP will face its own destruction.
Similarly, after decades-long infiltration in the American society by communism, Trump appeared, vowing to “drain the swamp” and restore faith. Knowing such efforts would effectively stop the socialist and communist agenda, U.S. media, government officials, and large corporations joined together to defame him in attempts to remove him from the office. As this unfolded, many people in the free world have recognized this serious challenge.
This includes Peter Schweizer, author of Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends. In an interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo in “Sunday Morning Futures” on December 20, he said that both the Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter had benefited from business with China.
Evidence showed that Chinese companies insisted that “they were not doing deals with Hunter Biden and they were doing deals with the Biden family.” This indicated the role of Joe Biden, former Vice President and current presidential candidate. Furthermore, Hunter complained that he had to pay half of the Biden’s family bill, meaning Joe Biden is a “direct beneficiary of the foreign deal.” Not only that, Hunter’s business partners also include Chinese companies that have close relationships with the Chinese army.
Besides the Biden family, many other officials also have close ties with China. “There are a lot of powerful people in DC who want the Hunter Biden story to go away because it has potentially direct implications on themselves,” Schweizer said, citing Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, and Dianne Feinstein's family business deals in China. “All you have to do is look at the very top of the legislative body in the United States.”
For example, leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell and his wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. “Elaine Chao’s family owns a shipping business. Unlike the Biden’s, it is actually a legitimate business. But the fact of the matter is that its ship purchases are financed by the Chinese government, its ships are constructed by the Chinese government, its crews are raised by the Chinese government, and most of its contracts are shipping goods from Chinese state-owned enterprises,” Schweizer continued. “So if Mitch McConnell did something the Chinese didn't like, they could destroy that family business.”
The list continues. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi, for example, “has done a series of deals in mainland China... and are part of the fact that the Chinese are trying to curry favor with high-ranking politicians in the United States.”
Dianne Feinstein’s husband “has been doing deals for 25 years in mainland China,” Schweizer added. “And has benefited from private meetings that Senator Feinstein had with the highest levels.”
In summary, Schweizer said that the Chinese government is seeking to “decapitate our political leadership by giving sweetheart deals to the family members of our political class... The question is, are we going to do something about it or let it pass?”
“I commit to my audience right here right now that we will not let out the spotlight on this behavior,” Bartiromo replied, “And we will not let the Chinese Communist Party take over America.”
Case Study: Business and Politics
When Trump ran for president in 2016, he promised to “drain the swamp.” This was not just a campaign slogan, because back in January 2000 he had published a book The America We Deserve, in which he listed communist China as the biggest long-term challenge for America.
Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has taken a series of actions on this. “In America, we don't worship government—we worship God,” he declared. “America will never be a socialist country.”
That is why communist China was terrified when Trump won the election in 2016, since he was clear on the increased threat from the CCP. As a result, Chinese officials appointed the first American, Elaine Chao’s sister Angela, to a top position at the Bank of China, according to Schweizer. As one of the four largest state-owned commercial banks in China, this bank plays a critical role in the CCP’s foreign policy and economic relations. Ten days after Trump was elected, Angela Chao became a board member of the Bank of China. Such a conflict of interest is a rarity in American history.
The entire picture was beyond that. According to Schweizer’s 2018 book, Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, the Chao family has close ties with the CCP. Angela is the chairman and CEO of the family business Foremost Group. The Chao sisters' father, founder of the company, had a close relationship with former CCP leader Jiang Zemin, who was also his schoolmate. Jiang climbed to the top leader position due to his tough position on the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 and he later ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999.
“As the schoolmates crossed paths again in the 1980s, the Chaos reaped dividends from a radar company linked to Mr. Jiang that targeted sales to the Chinese military, documents filed with the Chinese government show,” reported the New York Times in a June 2019 article with a title of “A ‘Bridge’ to China, and Her Family’s Business, in the Trump Cabinet.”
A large volume of business took place between Foremost and the China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC). According to Schweizer, CSSC is “a state-owned defense conglomerate … at the heart of the Chinese government’s military-industrial complex” with the main goal of strengthening the Chinese military. Angela Chao and her father James both sat on the board of a CSSC offshoot.
McConnell softened his views on China as this relationship grew, reported a March 2018 Wall Street Journal article titled “Author Alleges China Used Business Deals to Influence Families of Mitch McConnell, Joe Biden.”
Senator McConnell used to take hard-line positions against China prior to his marriage to Elaine in 1993. Through a personal invitation from the CSSC arranged by James Chao, McConnell met with high-ranking Chinese officials in 1994, including top leader Jiang Zemin and vice-premier Li Lanqing. After this meeting, McConnell “would increasingly avoid public criticism of China.”
In 2001, Elaine was appointed U.S. Secretary of Labor by George W. Bush, becoming the first Chinese American to serve as a cabinet secretary. In 2007, the Chinese government instructed Baosteel, a provider of high-end materials for the Chinese national defense military industry, to contract its Australian ore shipping to the Chao company with a 7-year deal. Since Foremost did not have large ships, it received loans from Chinese state-owned banks, making it a world-class shipping company.
Elaine Chao was the only cabinet member in the Bush administration to serve for the entirety of his eight years, and she was also the longest-serving Secretary of Labor since the 1940s. During a trip to China in August 2008 to represent the United States at the closing of the Olympic Games, she took her father to several official meetings with Chinese leaders, including one with the country’s premier. After that she traveled to China with her father again in both 2010 and 2013 for delivery of two ships, with subsequent trips in 2013 and 2015 which secured a $75 million loan from China EximBank for the family company.
“Elaine Chao and Mr. McConnell reported in a financial disclosure a 2008 gift from her father, James, the founder of Foremost, valued at between $5 million and $25 million. Mr. Schweizer, citing a news report, wrote that the gift more than doubled Mr. McConnell’s personal wealth,” reported the Wall Street Journal article.
CUSEF: Funnel Messages in a “Palatable Wrapper of U.S. Academics and Intellectuals”
The CCP influences American society in many ways. Instructed by Jiang Zemin, former Chief Executive of Hong Kong Tung Chee Hwa formed the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) in 2008 to influence public opinion in the United States to favor China. Through the years, it has brought a large number of U.S. journalists, scholars, and political as well as military leaders to China.
One example is the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), whose graduates often work for government agencies such as the State Department. In August 2017, SAIS announced a new endowed professorship in the China Studies department and a new research project called the Pacific Community Initiative, which aims to examine “what China’s broader role in Asia and the world means for its neighbors and partners.”
But SAIS did not mention funding of the new initiative was partly from CUSEF, reported Foreign Policy in a November 2017 article titled “This Beijing-Linked Billionaire Is Funding Policy Research at Washington’s Most Influential Institutions.”
The long-term impact can be enormous. “It’s the ability to privilege certain views over others, to create a platform for someone to speak,” said Peter Mattis of the Jamestown Foundation. “When you have a role in selecting the platform and generating what I presume they hope are some of the bigger reports on U.S.-China relations in the next few years, that’s important.”
Through websites, partnerships, or endowments, the CCP learned to wrap its message in a palatable wrapper of U.S. academics and intellectuals, he explained, “Who better to influence Americans than other Americans?”
In addition to influencing education and scholars, this organization also approached lawmakers and other officials directly. “As a registered foreign agent, in 2016 it spent just under $668,000 on lobbying, hiring the Podesta Group and other firms to lobby Congress on the topic of ‘China-U.S. relations.’ The foundation has spent $510,000 on lobbying to date in 2017,” reported the article.
“Nobody in the 1980s would have represented the Russian government. And now you find so many lobbying for the Chinese government,” remarked Frank Wolf, a retired U.S. representative from Virginia. “I served in Congress for 34 years. I find it shocking.”
To make things worse, not many people know organizations such as CUSEF operate under the CCP’s United Front Department, one of the “magic weapons” that was established in Mao Zedong’s era and continues to this day. It suppresses messages it does not like and amplifies those it does.
“Tung currently serves as the vice-chairman of one of the united front’s most important entities—the so-called Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which is one of China’s two rubber-stamp assemblies,” wrote the Foreign Policy article.
The silencing effect is unbelievable, from various human rights issues in China to the persecution of Falun Gong, which was launched by Jiang in 1999. In March 2006, witnesses testified about forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners in China, which, by then, was supported by a large amount of evidence. Due to the CCP’s massive propaganda and powerful influence, however, U.S. lawmakers have yet to take concrete actions against such an unprecedented crime.
Escalated Threat: From Business and Politics to Election
Less than 10 years after China joined the WTO, it became the world’s second-largest economy after the U.S. By then, the CCP’s strategy had shifted from “hiding your capacities and biding your time” to global expansion to advance its communist ideology. This includes the Belt Road Initiative (BRI), Confucius Institutes, massive propaganda, and other approaches.
According to a report released by the Hudson Institute in June 2018, “Russia’s interference and election meddling dominate the headlines and Washington’s attention. But beneath the radar, another country’s interference is expanding, dwarfing Russia’s short-term disruption. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under General Secretary Xi Jinping has put enormous resources into influence abroad, estimated at $10 billion a year.”
Michael Pillsbury, director of the Center on Chinese Strategy at the institute, attended a 2018 meeting in Beijing where two former CCP United Front officials asked 80 thinktank experts how to refute a report from the White House that identified the threat from China. Unlike the Wolf Warrior culture in Global Times, tactics created by these experts were well designed. They include claims that China is weak and infested with poverty.
Nonetheless, the Trump Administration did take it seriously. The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property released a report in 2017 titled “The Theft of American Intellectual Property: Reassessments of the Challenge and United States Policy,” which estimated that the “annual cost to the U.S. economy continues to exceed $225 billion in counterfeit goods, pirated software, and theft of trade secrets and could be as high as $600 billion.”
Back in 2018, the CCP had already conducted overt and covert influence operations to sway the mid-term elections. “The election interference includes targeting American farmers with propaganda and anti-Trump political activities in states carried by Trump in the 2016 election,” wrote a September 2018 article on Washington Free Beacon titled “China Engaged in Election Influence Operations to Undermine Trump.”
David Stilwell, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the U.S. State Department, spoke in October referring to the CCP’s influence as an “iceberg.” “In recent years Xi Jinping has added 40,000 cadres to the United Front Work Department, making it four times the size of the State Department’s Foreign Service corps. And that’s without counting the other parts of the Beijing Party-state that help shape foreign opinion and influence foreign officials. These include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central Propaganda Department, the Ministry of State Security, the Ministry of Education, the International Liaison Department, and the Political Work Department of the People’s Liberation Army,” he said.
There are many affiliated organizations such as Confucius Institutes, diplomats, news media, and state-owned enterprises. “Think of an iceberg. Above the waterline are official PRC diplomats conducting legitimate diplomatic activities, for example. Below the waterline is a far larger, murkier mix of actors and entities whose ties to the Communist Party state have long gone ignored, overlooked, or unstudied,” he explained.
Matthew Pottinger, U.S. deputy national security adviser, has given speeches warning Democratic countries that, upon infiltration through United Front efforts, the CCP would weaponize these overseas activities to achieve its hidden agenda.
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The renowned American writer Mark Twain wrote a story called “The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg” about a stranger who turned honest townspeople into greedy and deceitful caricatures of themselves with a sack of fake gold.
The American founding fathers knew this could be a crisis one day. “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net,” wrote John Adams. “Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people.”
Inside China, Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted for 21 years by the most totalitarian regime. And yet, they remain peaceful and determined in the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance because they know that, someday, the righteous will prevail and people would be rewarded for their loyalty to virtue.
That may offer some hints to the situation we are facing right now. As the CCP erodes America and the free world with incentives of short-term material gains and power, people who follow their conscience will be clear on which side to stand, and they will be blessed with a better future.
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