“The Chinese Communist Party’s [CCP] ambitions for global leadership became ever clearer in this, the CCP’s centennial year,” Commission Chair Carolyn Bartholomew of the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) said at a Nov. 17 launch event for the report.
Bartholomew said the CCP continued to expand its confrontation with other nations throughout 2021, and that its aggression was a growing concern among the international community.
“Announcing its goal to provide the world with a ‘new model of human advancement,’ the Chinese government deepened its embrace of aggression, wolf warrior behavior, and coercion, heightening concerns throughout the Indo-Pacific and elsewhere in the world about China’s rise,” she said.
The 551-page bipartisan report was released just days after the first virtual summit between President Joe Biden and CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping, which failed to make substantial headway in easing ongoing tensions between the two nations.
In the report, the commission outlined the threat posed by the CCP to democratic nations around the world, adding that the CCP’s Marxist ideology and inability to accept critique was putting it on the path toward global conflict.
“Lacking a representative governance system, the CCP also uses claims about the superiority of its political model to justify its authoritarian rule and views any criticism or admission of failure as a threat to its legitimacy,” the report states.
“CCP leaders thus feel obligated to highlight what they consider to be advantages of China’s authoritarian system, even in the face of clear systemic failures.”
The report also noted a growth in rhetoric among CCP leadership asserting that the Party has been preparing for a confrontation between the “order of China” and the “chaos of the West.” It highlighted a growing commitment to combat “strong enemies,” a term frequently used by the CCP to describe the United States.
In addition, the report described that, as the CCP marked the centenary of its founding earlier in the year, its leadership urged the Chinese people to “prepare for a decades-long confrontation with the United States and other democracies over the future of the global order.”
CCP leaders reaffirmed their dedication to the development and proliferation of Marxism-Leninism in the Sixth Plenum Communique last week, in which they championed “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” and said they were “creating a new model for human advancement.”
Relatedly, the report found that the CCP was taking a whole-of-government approach to undermine the United States and its allies. The Party, it said, was dedicated to subverting international institutions and building new regional and international institutions with which to replace them in a bid to expand Chinese communist influence abroad.
Commission member Jim Talent, a former senator, described the CCP’s aspirations as “global,” and said its authoritarian ideology was oriented to replace the United States, not coexist with it.
“Their intent … is to advance towards their ‘community of common human destiny,’ which it’s pretty clear they define as replacing the existing rules-based international order with one that resembles a hierarchy, with China at the top,” Talent said.
“I think we’re all coming to grips here with the extent of that ambition.”
The report noted multiple accounts in which the CCP attempted to realize those ambitions abroad, including military textbooks and high-profile disinformation and political warfare campaigns.
The latest edition of the Chinese military’s officer textbook, for example, includes a new chapter on political warfare that says future conflicts will require a “hidden front” trained to “incite defection” among the enemy.
Another example included in the report documented a request by the Canadian government that the CCP release two Canadians, widely viewed as being held as political prisoners under Beijing’s campaign of “hostage diplomacy.” Chinese diplomats responded to the request by leveraging hot button issues to delegitimize the Canadian government, accusing the request of promoting “Western egotism and white supremacy.”
In another instance, the Chinese regime’s highest-ranking diplomat, Yang Jiechi, delivered a list of demands to the Biden administration that outlined what the United States would need to do to have a constructive relationship with China.
It said that the United States must abandon all competition against China, cease all efforts to curb CCP influence operations within the United States, and remain silent on the CCP’s destabilizing behavior toward Taiwan and human rights violations in Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang.
The list, according to the report, is indicative of the CCP’s broader hopes for its relationship with the United States.
“Yang’s framing suggests China no longer seeks to cooperate or find common ground but rather is now dictating that the United States must submit to all of China’s preferences,” the report states.