The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is eager for a Joe Biden presidency that would restore Washington's decades-long yet ineffective engagement strategy, said Ret. Capt. James E. Fanell, former director of intelligence and information operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
According to Fanell, the CCP "hasn't been happy about having President Trump" as leader of the United States because his administration has ended and reversed the longstanding strategic engagement policy, which was established by Richard Nixon's Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and adopted by successive U.S. administrations with the hope of encouraging economic and political reform in China.
"We just preach that if we just engage, things will get better. And for 40 years, we did that," Fanell said. He then pointed to the fact that the Chinese communist regime, taking advantage of the bilateral engagement, continued to build up its military and economic power to threaten the existence of Taiwan, push its territorial claims against Japan, provoke border conflict with India, and bully Southeast Asian nations in the South China Sea.
"We did everything with them, yet they spurned our goodwill," he continued. "And so, in the last four years, you had an administration that broke from that thinking, challenged the conventional wisdom, and said: 'No, this is not good, we need to stand up and challenge what China is doing.'"
Despite the apparent failure of the Kissinger school of engagement, a Biden administration filled by Obama-era foreign policymakers would see its revival, Fanell said.
"They're going to restore the program that was in place during the Obama years," he said. "Virtually the same people that were in the Obama administration will now be in the Biden administration dealing with China, and telling us that we need to cooperate."
Fanell noted that the engagement strategy has bred a host of experts on China, who forge "deep connections" with Chinese authorities and are well-treated during their trips to the country. In return, they publish misleading articles in influential journals, distorting Americans' view on what the CCP is actually doing.
Fanell called it an influence campaign, or political warfare, which the CCP has been engaging in with American academic elites over the past 40 years.