Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said Sunday it was Attorney General William Barr who put corporate America on notice about Beijing, as he called on the United States to “stop playing games” with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Bannon said Barr specifically used the words “collaborator” and “appeasement,” to call out corporate America, including Hollywood and big tech, for “kowtowing” to the regime in Beijing for the sake of profits.
“Those words were specifically chosen by Attorney General Barr to put corporate America on notice,” the former White House strategist said during an appearance on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“Then he talked about FARA [Foreign Agents Registration Act],” he told host Maria Bartiromo. “He talked about you guys being lobbyists and actually being unregistered foreign agents.”
Bannon made the remarks after Barr on July 16 said Hollywood and U.S. technology companies have allowed themselves “to become pawns of Chinese influence … at the expense of freedom and openness in the United States.”
In a speech given at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, last week, Barr pointed to the hypocrisy behind Hollywood’s practice of self-censorship in order to secure access to the world’s largest movie market.
“Every year at the Academy Awards, Americans are lectured about how this country falls short of Hollywood’s ideals of social justice,” he said. “But Hollywood now regularly censors its own movies to appease the Chinese Communist Party—the world’s most powerful violator of human rights.”
For instance, a scene in the zombie blockbuster “World War Z” was altered to remove the suggestion that the virus that started the apocalypse originated in China, Barr said.
America’s tech giants have also aided the regime in building surveillance technology and censored their products in exchange for access to the Chinese market, Barr said.
U.S. tech firm Cisco Systems, for instance, helped Beijing build its vast internet censorship and surveillance apparatus known as the Great Firewall, he said. Others, “such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Apple have shown themselves all too willing to collaborate with the CCP,” Barr added.
Apple, he said, has removed several apps from its Chinese app store after pressure from Beijing, and moved some of its iCloud data to servers in China, despite concerns that it would expose the data to access by the CCP.
Officials at Google, Apple, Yahoo, and Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to requests from The Epoch Times for comment.
“Appeasing the PRC [People’s Republic of China] may bring short-term rewards,” Barr continued in a message directed at U.S. business leaders. “But in the end, the PRC’s goal is to replace you.”
Bannon in his remarks echoed Barr’s condemnation of the Chinese regime, as he praised the attorney general for his “magnificent speech.” He urged the United States to stop being a “supplicant” on the CCP virus, which has caused the deaths of over 140,000 people nationwide.
“We have to tell them [CCP], I believe, you turn over every piece of information, you open up the P4 lab, you let Americans and other scientists from around the world go in there and interview everybody, get every document, or we’re going to cut you off,” Bannon said.
“We’re going to cut you off from the U.S. dollar. We’re going to sanction your banks. And we’re going to sanction the highest members of the Chinese Communist Party, Wang Qishan and Xi [Jinping].”
Bannon and Barr’s remarks come as the Trump administration sharply escalates its rhetoric and actions against the Chinese regime on a wide range of issues, including human rights, espionage, Hong Kong, and its coverup of the CCP virus outbreak.
In the past week alone, Washington has sanctioned CCP officials responsible for rights abuses against ethnic minorities in the region of Xinjiang, formally opposed Beijing’s territorial claims and aggressive actions in the South China Sea, ended Hong Kong’s special privileges with the United States following Beijing’s imposition of draconian national security law, and signed into law a bill that sanctions officials involved in suppressing freedoms in Hong Kong and the banks that do business with them.
“It’s time to stop playing games with this murderous dictatorship,” Bannon added. “They lied. The American people have died.”
Cathy He contributed to this report.