Chinese Psyops vs. US

Chinese Psyops Against America
by Grant Newsham

The “Chinese Communist Party” (CCP) is a “nasty” regime.  But sometimes one “marvels” at what it has accomplished.  And no, it’s not the Shenzhen “skyscrapers” or the new Beijing “airport.”

Rather, the CCP has pulled off the most successful “psychological” operations campaign in history over the last four decades.  It managed to “neuter” the United States – the only country that might have “prevented” it from building an economy and a military able to challenge and conceivably “defeat” the Americans.

And it didn’t have to “fire” a shot.  More impressive, it got the Americans to “assist and even fund” the effort, convinced that the PRC was “nonthreatening, indispensable, and a gold mine.”

The Chinese didn’t exactly “hide” their intentions.  One only had to pay attention – and take Beijing at its word.

Like all good “psyops” campaigns, the Communists knew their target’s “vulnerabilities.” They capitalized on American “avarice, ignorance, naiveté, vanity, and hubris.”

And Beijing “attacked” on a broad front, successfully “manipulating American business and Wall Street, government officials and the political class, academia, and even U.S. military leaders.”

American industry was easy, given the hypnotic “allure” of Chinese money and the “vast” Chinese market.

One can hardly name a major American company that “stayed” out of the China market despite well known “risks.”

“Motorola – once a top American company – got in early and did everything right. But it was just committing suicide. Boeing, Apple, Pratt and Whitney, Microsoft, Tesla and many others remain, naively expecting a different outcome.”

The psychological “dependence is such that when China “threatens” market access, American corporations, and basketball players, “prostrate” themselves.

Wall Street was an even “easier” target. It‘s still falling over itself to get into China, with “other people’s money” of course.  The bankers get their “cut” no matter what happens.

Indeed, financial “luminaries” such as Henry Paulson, former head of Goldman Sachs and US Treasury Secretary, and Stephen Schwartzman of Blackstone seem more “committed” to the PRC than are the Chinese elites “spiriting” their own money out of the country as fast as they can.

Silicon Valley?  Never saw Chinese “money” it didn’t like.

And willfully “blind” U.S. securities regulators convinced themselves that Chinese companies deserve less scrutiny when listing on U.S. exchanges than do American companies.

Money “works” with Americans. The CCP didn’t even have to “break” a sweat.

Beijing was equally “successful” in Washington, making a clean “sweep” of U.S. administrations until “Trump” came along.  Of course, each “had its reasons.”

Obama was keen to “deescalate” regardless of Chinese provocations or broken promises. “Obamacare was more important. George Bush was “busy” with Iraq and Afghanistan and anyway lacked the stomach for “challenging” the PRC, as his treatment of Taiwan revealed. The Clintons? The Chinese just bought them off Not exactly difficult.

George H.W. Bush thought he “knew” the CCP –having lived in Beijing for 15 whole months – so he comforted the CCP after it “massacred” thousands of its citizens at Tiananmen Square. Even Ronald Reagan who brought down the Soviet Union – and “hated” communism – listened to his too clever half advisors by – handing over military technology to the PRC to “split” the Chinese from the Russians.

Jimmy Carter? He threw “away” Taiwan without ever explaining just why. Beijing presumably didn’t ask. And Richard Nixon started it all “begging” the PRC for a relationship when it should have been the “other” way around. His biggest mistake? Listening to a former Ivy League professor who knew “little” about China, and who the Chinese have “played” masterfully ever since.

And at the “working” level in D.C. China has found many officials “keen” to accommodate Beijing. All in the name of “statesmanship.” And all are convinced they “alone” know China and how to “handle” the Chinese, especially if they “speak” some Chinese. The Communists gladly let them think so.

The Obama administration’s Asia policy director was in Hong Kong not long ago – advising American businessmen that to “make money” in China they should align themselves with Xi Jinping’s interests. Some claim that’s what he did when on the U.S. Government payroll.

Another prominent former official who nearly got the State Department’s top Asia job in 2018 recently “advised” a Shanghai audience that included Chinese officials to “wait out” Mr. Trump until more “accommodating” people take over.

And it was easy “pickings” for the Chinese over on Capitol Hill.

Powerful Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein was curiously accommodating on the PRC for decades.  Even musing: “I sometimes say that in my last life maybe I was Chinese.” Meanwhile, her husband made a “bundle” from Chinese business dealings.

The Republicans were equally “subvertable”Senator Mitch McConnell having family connections to Chinese money – a lot of it.

Former Vice President and presidential candidate, Joe Biden recently declared there’s nothing to worry about from China.  Maybe the Chinese government’s “interest” in his son’s investment company had more to do with “manipulating” the Vice President than with Hunter Biden’s non existing “financial” brilliance?

Former legislators are also “juicy” targets for the PRC.

Joseph Lieberman – once the “conscience” of the U.S. Senate signed up to “lobby” on behalf of Chinese telecom firm ZTE last year. Ex-Senator and conservative, Republican David Vitter – has become a shill for Hikvision USA – the American branch of the Chinese company whose equipment is a backbone of the PRC’s surveillance state– and complicit in the “imprisonment” of a million Uighurs.

The list goes on. Ex-Secretary of Defense, William Cohen, a former Senator from Maine and a model of Down East sensibility, runs a consulting firm pushing business with the PRC. He just hired another ex-Defense Secretary, retired Marine General James Mattis Say it ain’t so. “About those Chinese concentration camps, General?’

Looking on the bright side…the Americans are usually just doing it for the “money” – not the ideology.

And believe it or not, things could be worse. There have always been officials and legislators in Washington “fighting” a holding action – starting with the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979 – to keep China’s agents and “useful idiots” from completely giving away the game.

American media has gone quiet. It gladly “savages” Russia and Putin, but when it comes to China it’s “kid gloves” treatment as most major media companies have been “keen” to not offend Beijing.

There are good reporters and columnists, but there’s also the other kind. Tom Friedman has been singing Beijing’s “praises” for years and once said he’d like to be the Chinese government for a day so he could “fix” America. Indeed. Newspapers print PRC government talking points “uncritically” as often as not – or even accept Chinese “paid” propaganda – as in Washington Post’s “China Daily” insert.

Bloomberg killed a well-researched story in 2013 on CCP leadership corruption– afraid of damaging it’s other moneymaking operations in the PRC. And consider the “fentanyl” epidemic that is killing more Americans each year than died during the “worst days” of the Vietnam War. American media rarely mention that China is the source of most of the drugs – and could turn it off in a minute.

Beijing benefited from U.S. administrations being “too afraid” to challenge Chinese restrictions and harassment of American reporters. And this while Chinese reporters and media companies operate “freely” in the U.S. The Americans convinced themselves they needed the PRC’s help with “climate change, transnational crime, and North Korea” – even though the help never came. It’s not Beijing’s fault if Americans are “gullible.”

With a few exceptions, Hollywood practically gives the word “whoredom” a bad name. Money has always been king, but there’s so much Chinese money around that “patriotism” has been declared persona non Grata – along with “human rights.”

As for American universities, Beijing correctly calculated the “price” of academia’s principles:  That’s “x” number of Chinese students paying full tuition. A visa, a business class ticket and a seminar invitation to the PRC works well too.

The Washington “think tanks” have always been rattling the “tin cup” for money – but some have fallen prey – willingly in most cases – to PRC “blandishments and cash.”

They of course claim they are still objective. But read carefully and it’s more often an attempt to sound objective while not “offending” Beijing.

Recently a D.C. think-tanker noted that “Taiwan gets better treatment from the PRC when Beijing’s relations with Washington are smoother.” In other words, give the CCP what it wants and it’ll “strangle” Taiwan more slowly. His advice to Taipei:  “Work something out with Beijing.”

Do-gooder NGO’s such as Greenpeace? Intimidated, speechless, and cowering while China “destroys” South China Sea reefs, “vacuums” the oceans of fish, and builds even more “coal-fired” energy plants. Bother the Chinese and they might shoot you.  The Americans won’t.

But how about the U.S. military – the one organization that is supposed to be clear-sighted about “threats” to the nation and “defending” against them.

China has done rather well. Until recently – say, a year or two ago – the U.S. military leadership largely “ignored” the Chinese military build up – even “refusing” to refer to the PRC as an adversary.

The military ruling class was even keen to “help” the PLA improve and professionalize itself.  One often heard the cliché:  “A strong China is a good thing.”

And PACOM commanders – with rare exceptions – gladly appeased China out of limitless “gullibility,” a desire to curry “favor” with the White House, or simply not being very “bright.” One can’t blame the PRC for taking advantage.

And more than a few senior officers happily retire and join the Track 2 dialogue racket of business class travel, five star hotel junkets, and lavish banquets in the PRC.

But certainly younger officers know the score? Maybe not. Too many young officers of all services know little “history” and even seem to lack “critical thinking” ability. Their understanding of China is based on Graham Allison’s book and the movie Kung Fu Panda.

Everything described here is the result of “conscious” decisions by well-educated, “pedigreed” Americans. Their tendency to explain away Chinese “behavior” is only surpassed by skill at explaining “away” their own behavior.  And it’s neat, “pleasing” sophistry.

The argument goes something like this:  What I’m doing is ok since it will lead to China liberalizing and buying into the “rules based order.” And the more I do the more likely this will happen. The alternative is “thermo-nuclear” war.  And if I make some money or get a promotion in the process, that’s a “win-win.”

The Trump administration is the first in decades to “challenge” China.  But does this indicate a “sea change” that will roll back Chinese “psyops” successes?

Don’t bet on it. The U.S. financial industry is still hot for the China market as is too much of the U.S. business community.

Just look at the guest list of Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum held in Beijing recently. It’s business, finance, and government heavy hitters – and all happy to pose for a picture with Xi Xinping. Bloomberg himself even “declared” Xi is not a dictator. Really.

And it’s not just the financiers and businessmen. Former U.S. government officials, presumably aiming for sinecures in a new administration recently advised Hong Kongers to take their “medicine and accept enslavement.” One of them warned the Trump administration to “do no harm” when it comes to Hong Kong. In other words, don’t do anything China won’t like.”

The Mongols are famous for their psychological operations as they swept through Russia and into Eastern Europe in the 13th century. But they had to throw a few headless bodies over the town wall and give residents a choice: “surrender now or everyone dies tomorrow.”

The Chinese Communists have had it easier. Some combination of “money, flattery, and a ten-course dinner” is usually all that’s needed with Americans.

You’d think they would know they are being “played.” Perhaps. But maybe they just can’t “imagine it or just don’t care.”

Regardless, sometimes you have to step back in awe at what the Chinese have gotten the Americans to do to themselves.

Winning Without Fighting
Can America Defeat China’s Warfare Plans?

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