Can the US Really Disconnect From China?

After 4 decades of expansion into the US, is it even possible to reverse China’s deep reach into America’s politics, economy, and culture?
September 25, 2020 Updated: September 30, 2020

Commentary

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has achieved an unprecedented reach into American life, and the extent of Beijing’s influence over many aspects of American life is astonishing.

Even a cursory look reveals that China’s deep penetration into America’s political, educational, and cultural institutions is no longer deniable. Even some law enforcement officers do Beijing’s bidding.

The Best Politicians Money Can Buy

In politics, Joe Biden, former vice president of the United States, and his family, are a prime example. Hunter Biden’s investment fund received a large amount of investment capital from the Chinese. Some estimates are as high as a billion dollars, or even more. It’s difficult to know, since details of the transaction haven’t been fully disclosed.

With members of his family receiving large amounts of money from adversarial governments such as the one in Beijing, what kind of leverage does that give them over Democratic presidential candidate Biden?

What kind of influence does that kind of money buy?

More to the point, shouldn’t accepting large amounts of money from a foreign adversary while in office disqualify a politician from holding that office?

Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to China’s influence than lining the pockets of Biden’s family’s members and other politicians.

In fact, Biden isn’t the first to accept Chinese cash, not by a long shot. President Bill Clinton funded his 1996 reelection campaign with donations from China.

That begs the question, “How many more U.S. politicians are influenced by Chinese money?”

Meddling in US Elections

The answer is, “Too many.” From a former speaker of the House to career diplomats, the list of U.S. government officials on China’s payroll is too long for comfort, with allies on both sides of the aisle.

What’s just as disturbing is the breadth of China’s influence on our elections. As I wrote earlier this year in my article, “Look Who’s Interfering With the 2020 Election,” this election is no exception.

In fact, the election is a critical one, which is why China is doing everything it can to prevent President Donald Trump from winning a second term.

That means pulling every string it has, on every American asset. China’s assets include allies in academia and Hollywood.

Influencing Academia

In academia, China’s outsized footprint is now common knowledge, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without influence.

Chinese Confucius Institutes, for example, are funded and run by China, and have been used to expand Chinese influence on U.S. campuses. Even though their presence is now lessening, as they are regarded as more adversarial than cultural, they have been a major source of propaganda and intellectual transfers over the past decade.

Likewise, with the Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSA). The innocent-sounding group promulgates pro-China propaganda and political censorship against anti-CCP university professors and speakers.

Like politicians and other government officials, university professors in multiple technological and scientific disciplines are now and have been on China’s payroll via its “Thousand Talents” program. Many are still participating in the program.

Reshaping American Culture

The CCP also understands that in order to control a country, you need to control what its people think and believe. This is a big part of China’s attempt to shape American cultural perceptions.

One of the most influential forces in American culture is the entertainment industry, and in particular, the Hollywood film industry. Sadly, China already owns much of it. Director Judd Apatow says it like it is: China tells Hollywood what kind of movies to make for both Chinese and American audiences, and Hollywood willingly complies.

But they’re not the only ones in thrall to the CCP. The NBA is as well.

Rather than standing up against the persecution of millions of Uyghurs by the CCP, as well as the people in Hong Kong fighting for their rights, the NBA has knelt to Beijing.

These basketball stars are looked up to by millions of young American kids—what does their capitulation to the world’s most wicked regime teach them?

Tech Censorship

The CCP’s reach also extends deep into the U.S. business community, especially the technology and social media sector. Twitter, Facebook, Apple, Google and many, many more all kneel before Beijing and censor criticism of the Party and its leaders from both within and outside of the country.

And they’re all OK with that.

Time to Rein In China

How much more access to the U.S. economy, including capital markets and the right to do business here, should the United States give China these days?

There are many more examples of China’s unfettered influence on American society and our most important institutions and cultural channels, but this gives you an idea of the magnitude of China’s power and influence in America.

Just how long we allow the CCP to dictate what is taught in our schools, how much we allow the CCP to censor our films and shape our culture, laws, and politics, is a big part of the upcoming presidential election.

Should the United States impose broader and deeper restrictions regarding China-owned businesses and Chinese nationals and students operating within the United States?

Definitely.

Should an executive order be issued, disallowing China’s censorship in social media?

Absolutely.

Should the United States continue to disconnect from China as much and as fast as possible?

Absolutely; the status quo poses an immediate and pervasive threat to America.

James R. Gorrie is the author of “The China Crisis” (Wiley, 2013) and writes on his blog, TheBananaRepublican.com. He is based in Southern California.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.