Mar-a-Lago Raid Undermines US Credibility, Can Be Exploited by China, Author Warns

Mar-a-Lago Raid Undermines US Credibility, Can Be Exploited by China, Author Warns
Supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump in West Palm Beach, Fla. drive around the Paul G. Rogers Federal Building & Courthouse on Aug. 18, 2022, as the court holds a hearing to determine if the affidavit used by the FBI as justification for the raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate should be unsealed. (Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)
The Mar-a-Lago raid undermines the United States' credibility in international politics and can be exploited by China, according to Bradley A. Thayer, the director of China policy at the Center for Security Policy and co-author of the book "Understanding the China Threat."

He called the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home a violation of American political culture and principles, saying that such a move “is welcomed by our adversaries, and which is certainly a negative event for our allies and for the credibility of the United States.”

“Events that weaken American domestic political stability have a negative consequence, a negative result for our allies,” Thayer said in an interview with NTD, The Epoch Times’ sister media outlet. "Likewise, our enemies, those countries that wish us ill, would seek to destroy the United States, supplant [it] from its dominant position in international politics, and attack our allies like Japan or partners like Taiwan, are emboldened by this."

Thayer thinks that the Chinese regime will use the incident to leverage its propaganda against America.

“The Chinese regime is not going to forget this, but will be constantly using this in their propaganda, as the United States and China fight an ideological conflict for the world's first states' international politics,” he said.

“So it was a benefit to China, and the Chinese Communist Party to see the Biden administration acting in this way."

Stark Contrast

He says that what makes America a strong ally is its feature of “producing the expansion of political freedoms and rights, human rights, around the world.”

The strength of the United States also lies in its “economic system that has profited so many around the world, improving the economic well-being of individuals, and established norms and rules in international politics.”

“[It is] the strength of our political culture, which has served the United States very well, since its founding in 1776, despite difficulties that we faced, including a civil war, in our own domestic politics,” he said.

Meanwhile, in stark contrast, Thayer described the Chinese regime as “one of totalitarianism, control, oppression, tyranny, the suppression of human rights, and state control of the economy, which leads to the perverse economies … [and] the single greatest threat to stability in international politics.”

Yet, the search of Mar-a-Lago would give the regime opportunities to “capitalize upon that, to legitimize their own rule by pointing out this event and exaggerating it by calling attention to other states in international politics, that ‘the United States is a nation in decline.’”

They would emphasize in their propaganda that "the Chinese model, the Beijing model, or the Chinese way of political organization of tyranny, is better than democracy," Thayer said.

As many countries around the world look to the United States for leadership and for support, he said “the United States has an obligation to its allies and partners around the world to recognize that we shoulder that responsibility.”

“So we can't be flippant, we can't be cavalier about violating norms in our political culture, or violating essentially how the two political parties treat one another,” Thayer said.

“We need to be sensitive to how these events are going to be exploited by our enemies, and do our utmost to minimize those clearly and obviously, so that we're not essentially giving an avenue for our enemies to exploit against the United States or against friends and allies around the world."

Hannah Ng is a reporter covering U.S. and China news. She holds a master's degree in international and development economics from the University of Applied Science Berlin.