The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) manages the narrative that it represents the people of China and the nation, but in fact, it only functions for a few leaders within the regime, said Gen. Robert Spalding, a former senior strategist in the Trump administration’s National Security Council, and retired Air Brigadier General.
Spalding gave his insight into the CCP’s operations and influence in an interview with NTD’s “Focus Talk.”
Spalding is also a leading expert on China and the author of “Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept.”
The expert on China said in the interview that President Joe Biden repeated the CCP narrative in a recent speech at the CNN Town Hall.
He also mentioned that under the Trump administration, Americans were able to see what the CCP really was, and people on both sides have woken up.
“President Biden was repeating essentially the narrative that the Chinese Communist Party has created about China. And that is whatever the Chinese Communist Party says about China is really the reality when, in truth, they have created this narrative to basically serve their own ends,” Spalding said in regards to the controversial speech about the Chinese “cultural norms” applied to Uyghur concentration camps.
The NTD host started off by asking him about his realization of the increasingly apparent transgressions of the CCP.
“It’s very interesting because I lived in China from 2002 to 2004. I didn’t know anything about the government or the Party. I got to know the people, I traveled to the country, I spoke the language. It was really a wonderful experience,” Spalding said.
He wanted to go back and hadn’t realized from his visit what the CCP was until he became involved with U.S. national security.
“It wasn’t until later, when I was involved in China foreign policy and national security policy, that I began to understand what the government was, and more particularly what the Chinese Communist Party was,” he said.
“It was then about 2014 as I was at the Pentagon advising the chairman of the Joint Chiefs on China that I began to change my view with regard to China.”
Spalding noted that China had changed a lot since 2016 when he revisited the country. In the early 2000s, China was much more open after it had just entered the World Trade Organization.
“Of course, the things that the Chinese Communist Party does to the people is really hidden from our outsider’s view. But when I went back in 2016, it was a fundamentally different country, far tighter in terms of the repression [by] the government. People did not seem as enthused or happy,” Spalding said.
“They even had guards at the subway with automatic weapons, which really seemed odd to me.”
The second time Spalding visited China, he was impressed by the digital surveillance that “was not just in terms of the cameras around Beijing, but also in terms of how they use smartphones for everything and how the data within those smartphones was accessed by the government.”
The host asked Spalding if he noted any changes in the United States related to the CCP’s infiltration and aggression after “Stealth War” was published in late 2019.
“It seemed that the Trump administration was beginning to create challenges for the Chinese Communist Party in terms of its influence over the American people,” Spalding said.
He further explained how the CCP virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, actually gave China an upper hand to reverse the confrontation of the Trump administration in various areas, in particular, the medical field.
“But since the coronavirus, you’ve seen a reversal of that. I think that the Chinese Communist Party has actually accelerated its ability to influence societies through, of all things, the medical profession. So I was surprised at how pervasive the influence of the Chinese Communist Party was in medical institutions like the World Health Organization, our own Center for Disease Control, and the pharmaceutical industry.
“It really was a shock to me how they were able to really change and really influence policy with regard to the coronavirus all over the world, in spite of the fact that in Taiwan, they had a completely different approach to the virus, [yet] no free society—even given the fact that Taiwan is a democracy—followed them.”
The host then inquired about the reasons that allow for the CCP to be able to infiltrate so deeply in the United States.
“Understanding how humans interact really helps us understand the power of the Chinese Communist Party. Humans are responsive to greed and fear, and the Chinese Communist Party uses both. They use [both] to influence our decisions. In fact, they use greed to influence nearly every institution in the West, whether they be our domestic institutions like academia, like the political system, like our corporate enterprises, like our financial enterprises, or internationally, like the United Nations or the World Trade Organization or World Health Organization,” Spalding said.
“The way they do that is by providing some kind of financial incentive or deal that in that brings in those elites of those institutions in ways that sometimes are very imperceptible. It may be a family member, it may be through an investment. It happens in so many ways. There is graft, there is straight bribery, but for the most part, it’s the Chinese Communist Party finding ways to help enrich the elites and free societies that really unlocks their loyalty,” he said.
Spalding concluded by saying that if Americans are able to thrive through seeking political reform starting at the grassroots level and then moving to the state and federal levels—if the reforms are successful—they will create challenges to the idea that the Chinese model is one to emulate, and America would become a beacon for the world about what government system would be most suitable.