WASHINGTON—“China has been able to control the narrative on what Americans think about China,” TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison said on Dec. 10 at the National Press Club.
Harrison joined with The Epoch Times in sponsoring a forum to discuss the current state of U.S.–China relations. Panelists included Epoch Times experts on China, including Dr. Dana Cheng, a founder of the newspaper, and Salem Radio Network talk show host Sebastian Gorka, a former adviser to President Donald Trump.
The narrative on the China threat may now be back in the hands of the United States, however.
With both political parties in almost total agreement about the scope and breadth of China’s threat to the United States, the issue is championed from the White House itself.
Several panelists described China as seeking to become the world hegemon, displacing the United States. The result, they say, would give the world a far more authoritarian model of governance, with the other nations of the world becoming dependent on China.
Gorka said Trump has been ahead of the time in seeing the threat posed by China.
“Look at speeches that Donald Trump gave” decades ago, Gorka said. “His message hasn’t changed.”
Trump’s message contrasts with the unjustified hopefulness that dominated U.S. policy toward China. “We convinced ourselves that economic freedom would start the dominoes falling” in China, said Larry O’Conner of radio station WMAL in Washington.
The miscalculation came by misunderstanding the example of the fall of the Soviet Union, which ultimately succumbed largely under the pressure of trying to keep up militarily with the United States.
China’s Survival at America’s Expense
China, which was under no such pressure from the United States then, is under another kind of pressure today, however.
O’Conner noted that “if all of the U.S. companies left China, China would be destroyed.”
Gorka echoed that sentiment.
“China is in trouble. It needs to maintain double-digit growth rates for the next 30 years” in order to survive, he said.
“The biggest threat to China,” Gorka said, “is an internal collapse.”
While China lives under tremendous domestic pressures, the regime in Beijing attempts to offload some of that burden by increasing its capabilities and resource base abroad, particularly in the United States.
China’s pressure on nearly every industry in the United States has been unparalleled. And, the panelists say, it goes beyond the scope of just simple competition.
“In a very specific way, China has been buying up the means of production for food,” said Doug Stephan of the nationally syndicated “DJV Show.”
Following China’s purchase of Smithfield, the world’s largest pork producer, three years ago, Beijing now is setting its sights on other major food brands and producers.
“China is about to buy Bumblebee,” Stephan said. Not only does this include its tuna product, but also its chicken and crab products as well. Chicken producers are next, he says.
“The Chinese have started to have liaison discussions with Tyson and Purdue” to grow chickens for China.
Company buyouts and long-term contracts are among the tactics used by China to gain economic advantage.
Chinese involvement in the U.S. food industry also has a political purpose.
“It’s in the Chinese interest to make the farmers upset. China wants to disrupt the farmers because China doesn’t want Trump to win” next year’s presidential election.
The entire supply chain of the United States has been targeted, according to John Fredericks of John Fredericks Radio. Among other tactics, Beijing subsidizes industries until they can put foreign competitors out of business, he said.
“The unholy alliance of all time is Washington and New York, with Goldman Sachs, Dow Jones, Wall Street, and China all colluding with each other to destroy our supply chain,” Fredericks said.
“What the president is attempting is bringing the supply chain back.”
Only the restoration of the U.S. supply chain, Fredericks argues, will “cut off their long-term goal.”
Then, “we gain back control of our geo-economic destiny.”
Cheng highlighted a larger issue.
“The trade war is not about two countries. It’s about a free world and a communist regime.”
We know that there have been thousands of protests annually in China during recent years, Cheng continued.
“But how many protests are there now?” she asked.
With the economic slowdown, it’s likely more, but “there are no more reports about them.”
Censorship in China on sensitive subjects such as riots in China isn’t just a function of the Chinese media acceding to Chinese Communist Party dictates, however.
“We have to break this suicidal culture in America where Google won’t work with the Pentagon but will work with the Chinese Communist Party,” Gorka said.
“Trump is not a neo-conservative or an interventionist,” Gorka continued. He’s also “not a president to be trifled with, or tested.”
Chinese leader Xi Jinping may think he can “play” Donald Trump, but Gorka says, “we know what you’re afraid of, and Donald Trump knows how to leverage it.”