There are now several books and articles in the Western media about the infiltration methods of the Communist Party of China in the West by the Western China lobby, business elites, politcians at the federal,local government, city partnerships, , students and academics, Confucius Institutes, advertisment in Western newpapers,CP media propaganda, secret services and intellinegnce, United Front and so on. To give some examples:
The NZZ analyzed the fabric of the United Front in Germany:
“China is trying to roll Germany up with the United Front
A network controlled by the Communist Party and the Ministry for State Security in Beijing has covert influence in Germany. The Chinese diaspora, exchange students and business associations play just as much a role as the Chinese secret services. (…)
230 Beijing-controlled groups in Germany The political scientist Didi Kirsten Tatlow identified a network of 230 business associations, friendship societies and cultural groups in “The Atlantic”. Berlin observers explain that these are controlled centrally by the Communist Party and the Ministry for State Security (MSS). The working group of German China Societies e. V. in Düsseldorf and the legal residency of the Chinese intelligence services in the Chinese embassy in Berlin. At the request of the NZZ, the Chinese ambassador Wu Ken promised to hold talks on the matter “after the pandemic”. In the university sector, the 19 Confucius Institutes in Germany, which are mainly financed by Chinese funds, have had a rather mixed reputation for years. Germans in the administrative and control bodies of the institutes report incessant attempts to exert influence by the Chinese side in favor of state positions in the People’s Republic.”
Didi Kirsten Tatlow reports in The Atlantic:
“Like mushroom tendrils spreading unseen for miles beneath the forest floor, this network remains largely invisible to Europeans and their leaders, who broadly lack the necessary Chinese-language skills and familiarity with Communist Party politics. It seeks not simply to shape the conversation about China in Europe, but also to bring back technology and expertise. While the effort is driven by the party, crucial to its implementation is an opaque and little-known Beijing-based agency known as the United Front Work Department.
These moves by China come amid growing concern in democratic nations around the world over Beijing’s political and economic espionage, whether that be alleged theft of intellectual property—a central issue in the American trade dispute with China—or the monitoring and pressuring of Chinese abroad. Politicians and officials in the U.S. and Australia in particular have expressed alarm over Beijing’s ability and willingness to project power in their territory, though reactions in Europe have so far been less forthright.“China is trying to access German politics, economics, and security, and a lot of people don’t realize it,” Carlo Masala, an international-politics professor and a security expert at the Bundeswehr University in Munich, told me. “It’s not that we’re blind with regard to China, but we’re not looking very closely.”
Germany has welcomed generations of Chinese students, both before and after China’s 1949 Communist revolution. In a historical irony, the United Front partly began nearly 100 years ago as the Einheitsfront in Berlin, when the city was a center of activity for Vladimir Lenin’s Communist International, which sought to neutralize communism’s enemies by infiltrating, then co-opting and coercing, critics and the undecided.
A baseline count of groups in Germany linked to China’s United Front yields 230; the real number is almost certainly higher. These include German Chinese friendship, culture, and economic societies; Chinese chambers of commerce; professional groups for Chinese science and technology experts working in Germany; and a “public diplomacy” association that openly boasts of its influence with German and European politicians. And that’s before you add the student associations and 20 Confucius Institutes, both of which are consistent with United Front goals. (Multiple emails and phone calls seeking comment from the Chinese embassy in Berlin, and Chinese student and professional associations in Germany, went unanswered.)
Similar the Falungon and the Committee on the Present Danger: China air propaganda against the infiltration methods of the CP China, also as Youtube documentaries:
“Exclusive Documentary: How the CPC Manipulates America”
“Exclusive Documentary: “Wall Street INFECTED” – JP Morgan, the Communist Party of China and the Flow of Money”
At the same time, the book by Clive Hamilton / Mareike Ohlberg “The silent conquest. How China is infiltrating western democracies and rearranging the world „has now been published, which tries to detect China’s networks of influence agents, including engagement politicians such as Helmut Schmidt and Henry Kissinger. The German conservative newspaper FAZ dedicates a full-page book review, especially as it sees German and European China policy unilaterally denounced by the authors of the book and does not believe in Trump’s containment and confrontation policy. The FAZ sees itself more in danger of being accused byChina-bashers and as an agent of influence for China and also classifies the book as a battle script, rather than as a scientific work:
“From the point of view of Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at the Charles Sturt University in Canberra, and Mareike Ohlberg, scientist at the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Berlin, it is about the survival of Western democracy. From their perspective, it is not the state and the nation of China that appear internationally, but the illegitimate regime of the Communist Party. The Communist Party of China has been pursuing an ambitious and well-planned long-term program for international influence for decades with the aim of shaping the world according to its ideas. Instead of attacking other countries from outside, the party is looking for allies, silencing critics and subverting Western institutions in order to weaken resistance to its striving for power from within. In doing so, it makes use of 30 closely interlinked institutions that are tightly and centrally controlled in the sense of “united front work”. The compilation of the authors ranges from party organs and ministries to the media and the People’s Liberation Army to town twinning and parliamentary friendship groups.
In order to be able to carry out this well advanced “silent conquest” so successfully, the Communist Party uses two groups of Western actors. A group of such „friends of China“ would be bought through direct financial aid, other benefits, or special attention. The other group is naive, does not recognize the actual intentions of the party and is deceived by a clever rhetoric of harmony and cooperation. The list of such “friends of China” compiled by Hamilton and Ohlberg is long, international and illustrious. It is led by Henry Kissinger, who in 1971 reestablished the cooperation between America and China as the then National Security Advisor, followed by the „blue-eyed“ Bill Clinton, Obama’s Foreign Secretary John Kerry and Joseph Biden, who – according to the author duo – for years advocated concession towards China without any reason . Even in the Trump administration “friends of China” are located. Donald Trump’s own family initially hoped „to be able to enrich themselves in China“.
In Great Britain, the authors see the influence networks of the Communist Party as so firmly anchored that the „point of no return“ has been exceeded and attempts to evade Beijing’s influence are probably doomed to failure. Italy is moving in the same direction. As far as Germany is concerned, former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who died in 2015, is said to have an all-round servile following in China. One can argue about Schmidt’s assessments of world politics, but the suggestion that he was remote-controlled from Beijing is absurd. The same applies to another “supporter of China”, the incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel, who ignored criticism and concerns in order to enable the Chinese supplier Huawei to participate fully in the German 5G network. Other chapters in the book deal with influencing business elites, media, culture, science and the Chinese diaspora, as well as espionage. Some basic statements are factually incorrect. It is claimed that Western intelligence services limit themselves to stealing political and military secrets, while China engages in industrial espionage with enormous resources. The Bundestag’s committee of inquiry into the NSA affair found that this service alone researched the German economy using 40,000 key terms and passed on important findings to competing firms in America.
This book is neither scientific nor a non-fiction book. Instead, Hamilton and Ohlberg submitted a political pamphlet. They want to wake up the Western public and unmask the Communist Party as well as the „Friends of China“. Many of your individual observations on Chinese influence that have already been published elsewhere are correct and have therefore already found the necessary response. It has to stay that way. For this reason alone, there can be no talk of a “silent infiltration” – not even if you consider the media coverage in Germany, which is definitely critical of China.
It is not a monopoly of the ruling Communist Party of China to want to exert influence over the politics and societies of other countries. Such a study only gains real informative value in comparison with the influence of other states or great powers. Hamilton and Ohlberg assume that China will never change – an unfounded, at least history-blind thesis. The EU has chosen a smarter way to protect its interests. Since 2019 she has understood her relationship with the People’s Republic as a triad of strategic partnership, competition and systemic rivalry. The comprehensive economic and political decoupling of the West from China would be self-damaging and unrealistic. „
In the USA, the engagement policy seems to be abolished, US Democrats and US Republicans are likely to prefer congagement to Trump as a new foreign policy consensus over China, as a minimum consensus. Trump, Steve Bannon, Kyle Bass, Guo Wengui, Falunggong and the Committee on the Present Danger: China prefer containment and direct confrontation, and for them even the proponents of congagement are still too soft on China
“Beijing-Biden” stand sunder scrutiny of the Trumpists and parts of the Republicans not to continue the engagement policy of the past, but congagement or even containment, while China and the Western China lobby will try to shift the balance of congagement more to engagement or as former Google-chief Eric Smith hopes: “Coopetition”. In Europe the same discussion about the China policy has already started.
But the question is also what is the strategic goal of China and its United Front? Perhaps one sees in Trump not only the enemy and the danger, but also the opportunity and proceeds more according to an old Chinese story:
An old Chinese story tells of a farmer in a poor village. He was considered rich because he owned a horse with which he plowed and hauled loads.
One day his horse ran away from him. His neighbors shouted how terrible it was, but the farmer just said: “Maybe.”
A few days later the horse returned and brought two wild horses with it. The neighbors were all happy about his favorable skill, but the farmer replied again: “Maybe.”
The next day the farmer’s son tried to ride one of the wild horses. The horse threw him off and he broke both legs. The neighbors all expressed their sympathy for this mishap, but again they only heard from the farmer: “Maybe.”
Over the next week, recruiting officers came to the village to bring the young men into the army. A war with the neighboring kingdom was on the way. They didn’t want the farmer’s son because his legs were broken. When the neighbors told him how lucky he was, the farmer replied: “Maybe.”
Perhaps there were also two considerations and camps in the Politburo and they see it more flexibly and pragmatically like the Chinese farmer: Toppling Trump, because he focuses on China, instigates a trade war and turns the West against China or, conversely, that Trump is uncomfortable and annoying in the short term, but divides the West and the USA and even the Republicans, insults and alienates allies, makes US free trade agreements impossible, which creates a vacuum that China knows to fill with RCEP or EU investment protection agreements and make the USA an internally torn and unreliable world power in decline and paralyzed in terms of foreign policy and knows how to portray the social model of liberal democracy as an unstable and inferior system, which in total and general might be a huge plus for Beijing in the medium and long term.
Perhaps the CP China also sees the split in the Chinese opposition and the coalition of Guo Wenguis and the Falungong with Trump, Steve Bannon and the Committee on the Present Danger: China not only as a danger, but also as an opportunity for the CCP. Guo Wengui once described himself as an agent of Beijing, but he doesn’t have to be and the United Front of the CPC doesn’t use or even finance this kind of pseudo-opposition as a kind of the 8 agents of Sun Tze, sometimes it’s enough to let sectarian and radical “useful idiots” (Lenin) simply dismantle themselves and sow discord in the enemy camp. With “useful idiots” Lenin referred not only to socially romantic moralists and naive idealists who were inclined to the friendship between peoples and a large world family or to apolitical artists and educated citizens but also to sectarian and radical forms of anti-communism, who were not promoted , but even officially fought to raise their credibility as destructive agents to work in the enemy’s camp, as they brought paranoia and extremism and thus destabilization in the opposing camp. The United Front of the Communist International under Lenin in Berlin already knew this and”useful idiots” should not be unknown to the United Front of the CPC.