Thursday, July 9, 2020


Let’s get something clear right now: China, more than any other country, is the greatest threat to American security, well-being and way of life.

They have been for decades, of course, but have managed to carry out their malfeasances while the United States was preoccupied with other conflicts, domestic and foreign. Here are some highlights over the past 10 years.

• The Chinese government hacked the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which handles all personnel (and top secret) information for federal government employees, resulting in the theft of 21 million private records.

• The Chinese government stole the blueprint for our F-35 stealth fighter, using the design to create their own version, the FC-31.

• The Chinese government is, as the FBI last month warned, currently attempting to steal coronavirus-related research on vaccines and testing.

• The Chinese government has been engaged in widespread “foreign academic espionage,” sending graduate students to our best universities with the intention of stealing intellectual property, usually in the hard sciences.

• The Chinese Huawei is currently pushing its 5G systems to eavesdrop on the world’s communications.

The list goes on. Pick any major industry, any facet of American life, and the Chinese have infiltrated, exploited and improved for their use our inventions. The cherry on top of this espionage ice cream is not simply theft for personal use, but the fact that it is weaponized against the United States.

And if you don’t believe us, take the words of current FBI Director Christopher Wray to heart. Earlier this week, during a conference at the Hudson Institute, he noted “The greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality, is the counterintelligence and economic espionage threat from China,” continuing “It’s the people of the United States who are the victims of what amounts to Chinese theft on a scale so massive that it represents one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history. If you are an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data.”

For China-watchers, this is not exactly news. It’s not exactly news that, for instance, the FBI opens a new case file on China every 10 hours. It’s not exactly news that the Chinese are in the midst of enacting a genocide on the Uighurs, or engage in organ harvesting, or plan on taking over Hong Kong, islands in the South China Sea, and parts of India. No, none of this is surprising.

What would, however, be surprising is if the U.S. government decided to get serious on China. Getting serious is not “tough talk” at the United Nations. Getting serious is not “threats” of a trade war. Getting serious is not the willy-nilly expulsion of Chinese graduate students.

To “get serious” about China, whether it is Joe Biden or Mr. Trump, is to make combating the Chinese threat a central point of your campaign. It is to speak clearly about what’s going on, and to outline an actionable plan on how to push back against the threat.

In the short term, and this is free advice to Mr. Trump, it’s to move from rhetoric to action. It’s to punish, in a visible manner, the Chinese government, for their bad actions. It’s to assemble a coalition of the willing to join and do the same. It’s to help arm the Koreans and the Japanese. It’s to create stronger ties with Singapore. In short, it’s to do something meaningful that resonates with President Xi Jinping.

The reason, and we cannot stress this enough, China bullies the United States is because they know we are the paper tigers. That we talk a big game, but in the end the greed of our private sector, the corruption of our elites and the dysfunction of our government prevent us from doing anything.

As things stand, it’s China’s world, America is just living in it. But it does not have to be this way.

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