The Enemy Is China, Experts Warn at Annual Gathering of Conservatives

March 1, 2020 Updated: March 1, 2020

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—The increasingly rising threat that the Chinese communist regime poses to the United States was a hot topic at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the nation’s largest annual gathering of conservatives.

At a panel discussion on Feb. 27 titled “The Present Danger: China” and moderated by Frank Gaffney, executive chairman of the Center for Security Policy, a Republican lawmaker, framed the communist regime as “insidious,” while China experts criticized Beijing for its efforts to deflect blame for China’s COVID-19 outbreak onto the United States.

Speaking at the event, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) said after four decades, Americans have started to realize the threat posed by China’s military and economic rise. He likened the Communist Party’s strategy to the “Trojan horse” in Greek mythology, a massive hollow wooden horse constructed by the Greeks to gain entrance to the city of Troy during the Trojan War.

What China has done is worse than the Trojan horse, he said, blaming previous administrations for helping the regime.

“We have gone outside the gate and built the Trojan horse for China.”

He went on to describe China’s trade secret and technology theft. In order to narrow the technology gap, he said, China stole trade secrets of U.S. companies, including designs related to Boeing’s C-17 military transport aircraft and Lockheed Martin’s F-22 and F-35 fighter jets.

Chinese companies such as Huawei are part of the regime’s plan for global hegemony, he said. Moreover, Americans are unwittingly financing these entities directly through their pension and retirement funds, such as the Thrift Savings Plan.

“Every time we invest in our retirement, we’re investing in China,” Perry said.

A 2018 report by the White House outlined tactics that China has used for decades to steal key technologies and intellectual property (IP) from U.S. companies, including physical and cyber theft, forced technology transfers, evasion of U.S. export controls, export restraints on raw materials, and investments in high-technology companies.

“Ten years ago, there was no Chinese company in the top 10 companies in the world,” Perry said. “Now there are five out of 10.”

Speaking at the panel, Gordon Chang, China analyst and author of “The Coming Collapse of China” said the COVID-19 outbreak has exposed the vulnerabilities of the Chinese communist regime. The outbreak, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has rapidly spread across China and to other countries, triggering panic in global financial markets.

Economists predict that the virus will have a significant impact on the Chinese economy, as even factories that remain open are operating with reduced staff, and a raft of measures has slowed output. Car sales dropped 92 percent in the first half of February, and only about a third of Chinese workers have returned to their jobs, Chang said.

“A contracting economy, of course, is an existential threat to a regime that depends upon the continual delivery of prosperity as the primary basis of its legitimacy,” Chang said.

Epoch Times Photo
Executive chairman of the Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney, author Gordon Chang, retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant general Steven Kwast, former US Army microbiologist Sean Lin, and Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) speak at a panel titled “The Present Danger: China” at the CPAC in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 27, 2020. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

He said people have turned to social media to vent their anger at the regime’s coronavirus response and started to understand for the first time in decades that “the real disease is communism.”

He also accused Beijing of “laying the theoretical foundation for the notion that the United States deliberately spread” the coronavirus in China. A famous Chinese doctor, he said, announced that “the first diagnosed cases of the virus were in China, but the origin was not in China,” which laid the groundwork to attack the United States.

“We are in a war, and the enemy is the People’s Republic of China,” Chang said.

‘Enemy of All Humanity’

Sean Lin, a former U.S. Army microbiologist and a survivor of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, said at the CPAC panel that the Chinese communist regime is “the enemy of the Chinese people” and “the enemy of all humanity.”

Lin described the behavior of the regime toward its own citizens throughout history. He said as a college student in 1989, he went to Beijing to support the democracy movement and witnessed a Chinese tank rolling over a student’s head.

“His head was like a piece of paper on the ground. It was a very horrifying scene.”

The Communist Party’s nature has never changed throughout history, he said, adding that all types of persecution are part of the regime’s “social engineering” efforts since the Cultural Revolution.

He also said the regime has launched a comprehensive war against all religions and spiritual beliefs in China, “and Falun Gong is one example.”

The party is using various methods of persecution, he said, and one of its “biggest crimes” is forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience.

Lin, who is also a microbiologist and former lab director of viral disease branch of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, said coronavirus is another example of how China has been treating its own people, by taking draconian measures and suppressing the free flow of information.

China Will ‘Strangle Us’

With a defense budget that has skyrocketed over the past decade, China has expanded its air force, army, navy, and manpower. China’s military buildup and foreign policy ambitions are a threat to the United States, according to experts.

Steven Kwast, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant general, said at the panel that China is on a path of strategy to “strangle us.”

“Subtly and slowly, [they are] taking over our businesses, buying up our debt, dominating markets that give them information dominance. Huawei and 5G is a manifestation of that information dominance that is going to move into space,” he said.

“They are going to dominate the energy markets by dominating space and the electromagnetic spectrum,” he said, which would give the regime the power to “paralyze markets.”

“They plan on having those power generation plants in space in the next 10 years.”

Kwast said the Chinese are rolling out these ambitious plans by taking advantage of “our open market, our free economy, and our open society.”

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