On September 25, 2015, the White House released its official statement on U.S.-China Economic Relations. Its statement revealed a disastrously flawed course. For example, the White House factsheet noted, “The U.S. side reiterated its commitment to encourage and facilitate exports of commercial high technology items to China for civilian-end users. Both sides commit to continue detailed and in-depth discussion of the export control issues of mutual interest within the U.S.-China High Technology and Strategic Trade Working Group.”
More troubling was the Obama Administration’s enshrinement of Chinese goals with regard to industry penetration and co-option, “The United States and China commit to limit the scope of their respective national security reviews of foreign investments (for the United States, the CFIUS process) solely to issues that constitute national security concerns, and not to generalize the scope of such reviews to include other broader public interest or economic issues. . . . When an investment poses a national security risk, the United States and China are to use their respective processes to address the risk as expeditiously as possible, including through targeted mitigation rather than prohibition whenever reasonably possible.” The factsheet also limited America’s capacity for correction, for it announced, “Once an investment has completed the national security review process of either country, the investment generally should not be subject to review again if the parties close the investment as reviewed under the respective national security review process.”
The United States, in past conflicts, has been slow to anger. In confronting this present pandemic and the Chinese actions that led to it, fury, which is often fleeting, must be held in check, for it must be displaced by actions and policies that can abate portions of the grave damage loosed on the world and enshrined by our past obsequiousness. In addition, any proper national strategy must peer into the future, to consider capabilities that must be attained, to meet threats that are unformed, but real.
Despite the wrongs committed against China in the past, the People’s Republic of China must not represent the future, for it is corrupt. Harking back to what Ronald Reagan did to spur the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States must enunciate that its objective is the peaceful end of the Communist Party of China. China existed for four thousand years before the formation of a communist junta within its borders; China can only achieve greatness combined with liberty and wealth if it frees itself from one-party rule and the despotism that this type of government always brings. This commentary is an expansion of issues discussed in a previous article of our authorship, published by The Federalist.
- Forge a consensus to adopt a new national strategy to address the unprecedented threat that the People’s Republic of China poses to America and to the world.
- Declare the strategy and the cause in public fora.
The Present Danger:
It is logical to assume that after some initial point, Chinese political, military, and intelligence officials realized that this outbreak of a new virus could be used as an economic weapon to bring down the economies of the West and thus assure Chinese hegemony. Given China’s history of spawning new illnesses, China’s political establishment must have had planning documents in place to serve the Communist Party of China’s interests, should such a scenario of a novel virus spread unfold. Various stratagems to contain the spread in China, sow fear around the world, and involve certain elements of the legacy media and the elites of targeted countries, may be part of a broader, communist initiative. Manipulating data with regard to the virus would be central to any such operational plan.
On May 7, 2020, the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard, assembled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering, using data accumulated by the Chinese, recorded the dead in Hubei Provence, whose capital is Wuhan, at 4,512, out of 4,637 for the entire country. According to Chinese authorities, 125 fatalities occurred in all other provinces, which comprise 1.38 billion people. A novel virus would go unrecognized for weeks. Indeed, China’s own questionable records support this conjecture.
If the virus did experience exponential growth, and doubled every day, in 28 days it should have infected 268 million people. A one-percent mortality rate would thus result in millions of deaths, not fewer than 5,000. Of course, we do not know the true characteristics of the virus’s spread. It clearly did not evolve in China in a manner suggestive of rapid, exponential growth. However, even if the PRC underreported its losses by a factor of ten or twenty or more, China’s very-low death and infection counts do not make sense.
Are there scenarios that explain these numbers? One explanation would involve an accidental release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology that was almost immediately recognized, engendering swift and firm containment procedures within China, but denied to the rest of the world by China’s continuance of international travel from the virus’s point of origin.
The second scenario is related but crueler. Given China’s research into biological warfare, it is conceivable that a clandestine military or intelligence group within China sought to ensure supremacy through the acquisition of a naturally occurring virus that would be just transmissible and virulent enough to cause massive disruption in Western countries, but could be limited, given the regime’s foreknowledge, within China. Such a virus could have been released accidentally or purposefully, with or without the knowledge of the PRC’s most senior leadership. Allied intelligence must determine if either scenario took place, and if so, in what form.
Releases of biological warfare agents have occurred elsewhere. Perhaps the most infamous is the inadvertent leak of anthrax, in 1979, in Sverdlovsk, which killed 64 persons in that city, now called Ekaterinburg. This release was acknowledged first in 1992 by Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who participated in the cover-up years earlier, when he was the communist party chief of that metropolis. In the intervening thirteen years between the disaster and the acknowledgment that the deaths were caused by agents developed for germ warfare, the international scientific community established no firm consensus as to what had truly happened, for many believed the Soviet’s disinformation campaign. While an engineered virus, resulting from manipulation done at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, must be considered unlikely and unsupported by the present set of facts, without access to the lab, its data, and the initial sites of the spread, speculation does not equate to certain knowledge.
Abetting the PRC’s denial of the access necessary for international investigators to determine the virus’s genesis is the media’s puerile argument that since the virus has been determined by independent studies of its genome to be of natural origin, it could not have come from the virology laboratory at Wuhan. This argument is wrong on two counts: first, definitive proof of the virus’s origin and its evolution is not available due to the Communist Party of China’s destruction of relevant materials and sites and its obstruction of international inquiries; second, by its own admission, and as is clearly communicated in its name, the state-controlled Wuhan Institute of Virology does study naturally occurring viruses.
- Determine by the joint action of allied intelligence agencies, and through other means and investigations, the true genesis of COVID-19.
- Document the acts of deception and instigation undertaken by the Communist Party of China to seed the virus; present this information to the world.
The PRC represents a multidimensional threat that encompasses all aspects of hard and soft power. Hard power is the use of coercion, monetary enticements, and force to attain policy goals; soft power is the result of attraction and co-option concerning outcomes, which become shared, to attain objectives supportive of interests. Until this pandemic, American soft power seemed destined to remain the dominant force in world affairs even as the PRC surpassed America’s GDP.
Concurrent with the expectation of future Chinese economic preeminence, America’s national debt and other competing priorities will serve to constrain U.S. military power. America’s breadth of soft power was to be the barricade against these vectors. It was hoped that our nation would withstand future Chinese economic might coupled with near military parity, for the United States would retain vast reservoirs of soft power, not possessed by other nations.
Our popular culture, our free press, and our multinational businesses have heretofore been liberalizing and democratizing forces, which have reflected America’s supremacy in all major forms of soft power. The magnitude and the stability of this bulwark must be reconsidered; the PRC now wields substantial power in Hollywood and insinuates its control and propaganda into our press, our businesses, and our universities.
The PRC has transmuted aspects of America’s soft power into that which is responsive to communist objectives. The means for this metamorphosis are America’s freedoms, its laws, and its politicians, who are informed by the academy. Strategic purchases of U.S. businesses and the placement of Chinese companies on American stock exchanges and indexes have given the PRC enormous suasion over the avenues of American soft power.