China Insider: China Is Top US Election Threat

By Epoch Video
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September 30, 2020 Updated: October 20, 2020

China Is Top US Election Threat

With the election coming up, foreign interference has become a major concern for many Americans and government officials alike.     

What’s noteworthy is that this time the U.S. intelligence community has concluded that the Chinese Communist Party is the biggest threat to America’s election securitynot Russia.     

Attorney General William Barr has also publicly said the same about the Chinese regime. Meanwhile, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has directly contradicted Barr, and the intelligence community, by claiming without evidence that Russia poses the biggest threat.

US Election Interference

On September 4, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said the Chinese regime has the “most massive” program among countries seeking to interfere in the U.S. election, and has taken the most active role in political influence efforts.

O’Brien told reporters at a briefing: “There’s always going to be propaganda. There’s always going to be efforts to influence us. We know the Chinese have taken the most active role.”

 

The national security adviser concurred with Attorney General William Barr’s comments earlier that China, rather than Russia, poses the greatest threat to U.S. election security. O’Brien said he agreed with Barr’s assessment “100 percent.”

 

However, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden directly contradicted the position of Attorney General William Barr and said that it’s Russia, not China, that poses the greatest election security threat to the United States.

On September 4 in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden told reporters: “There are a lot of countries around the world I think would be happy to see our elections destabilized, but the one that’s working the hardest, most consistently, and never has let up is Russia.” 

 

He added: “It’s not consistent with briefings I’ve received. He’s a lousy enough attorney general, but he’s a really bad intelligence officer.”

 

Barr told CNN on Sept. 3 that he believes China poses the greatest threat.

 

“I believe it’s China,” Barr said. “Because I’ve seen the intelligence. That’s what I concluded.”

In July, William Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said that Beijing was ramping up influence efforts in the country by attempting to shape U.S. policy, pressuring political figures, and countering criticism of China. 

 

Later, Evanina said that Beijing would prefer Trump to lose the election, in light of the administration’s increasingly hard-line stance toward the regime. On July 24, Evanina said: “Beijing recognizes its efforts might affect the presidential race.”

 

According to Evanina, Beijing is ramping up its influence efforts by attempting to shape U.S. policy, pressuring political figures, and countering criticism of China. Moscow, in the meantime, is using internet trolls and other proxies to spread disinformation and undermine confidence in the election.

An expert previously told The Epoch Times: “Chinese attempts to interfere with U.S. elections and politics, unlike Russia’s methods, are focused on using economic incentives or coercion to influence business and political elites, given that these are the actors who shape policy and candidate’s campaign platforms.”

 

However, Beijing’s ambitions extend beyond any single election.

 

Jeff Nyquist, an author and researcher of Chinese and Russian strategy, said in an earlier interview: “The Chinese objective is to embed themselves … inside the West. And it becomes so powerful in their position there, that nobody can say no to them when they want something.” 

 

U.S. officials have recently sounded the alarm that the regime is targeting American business leaders and officials, pressuring them to adopt Beijing-friendly stances.

 

O’Brien said the regime attempts to influence American business leaders “by saying if you don’t support us in the U.S., your companies won’t have opportunities in China.”

It’s not the first time that the Chinese regime tries to interfere with the US election. China meddled in the 2018 midterm elections. 

 

The China Daily, a state-run newspaper, bought a four-page insert to post pro-China, anti-Trump trade policy propaganda in the Des Moines Register prior to the election. The aim of the insert was to sway voter opinion regarding U.S.–China trade and reminding Iowa voters of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s deep and historical connections to Iowa. The state had strongly supported Trump’s election in 2016.

 

China’s little propaganda ploy had little or no impact. Nonetheless, no one on the left cared about it. There were no special reports on CNN, nor articles in The New York Times warning about Chinese influencing an American election—which speaks volumes.

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