One of the odd byproducts of the Wuhan virus pandemic and its subsequent lockdown has been the growing realization of the perfidy of China, its malevolent influence on the World Health Organization and the dependence the U.S. has on that Communist nation for pharmaceuticals and other important manufactured goods. Indeed, the awkward integration of supply chains with a hostile competitor is a revelation to many.
Beyond that, others have started to notice the Chinese Communist influence on American campuses through Confucius Institutes and the increasing dependence on higher education of hundreds of thousands of full paying Chinese students.That they obtain excellent educations and go back to the homeland to plot our demise is also disheartening and a clear danger.
Then there are the multiple cases of military and industrial espionage and significant influence, if not control, of marque commercial organizations like the NBA, Nike, Disney and multiple other beneficiaries of our free enterprise and rule of law.
Many sports and media companies boycott individual states that pass social legislation they detest but see no problems at all engaging with a nation that violates treaties in Hong Kong, runs a chain of concentration camps, engages in murderous organ harvesting and runs a thoroughly dictatorial regime.
It would seem even organizations with impeccable American DNA like Little League Baseball have been penetrated and compromised.
As for American politicians, we likely don’t know the half of it. If the Biden family and the Clinton family have already been seriously compromised, we must suspect that other political dynasties have.
How far do these Chinese tentacles extend in our society? Is it healthy?
For the most part, the Established Conservative Movement (the ECM) has been slow to respond. After all, much of the initial outreach to China was by Republican Richard Nixon, whose anti-communist credentials were built around the case of Alger Hiss.
The realpolitik approach, the integration of China into multiple international organizations and the reliance on “globalization” was to a large extent the work of Henry Kissinger, who has always been very influential among Republicans. President Bill Clinton shepherded China into the World Trade Organization in 1998 only to watch China and the CCP increasingly violate trade agreements, manipulate its currency and commit rampant theft of intellectual property to the present day.
For conservatives with a libertarian slant, the mantra of “free trade” seemed dominant, even though trade relationships were uneven and intellectual property theft was rampant.
Donald Trump has been consistent on China for decades. Yet as a Republican president, he was an outsider and hence not part of either the Republican Party establishment or the network of think tanks and publications that make of the ECM. Hence, there has been considerable resistance to Trump even within his own party and certainly among many in the ECM.
To be sure, there were exceptions. Websites such as American Greatness, newspapers like the Epoch Times, think tanks like The Hudson Institute and The Claremont Review of Books and the military historian Victor Davis Hanson have been sounding the alarm on China for some time. This is also true to some extent of the Hoover Institute. Among politicians, Senator Tom Cotton has been outstanding.
But just in the past several months, neoconservative Commentary ran articles critical of China. We think this intellectual momentum has now reached a tipping point with the June 22, 2020 Special Report in National Review, the longstanding flagship publication of the ECM. The main article written by Daniel Blumenthal of the American Enterprise Institute and Nicholas Eberstadt is summed up on the cover:
“We worked to make China a global power. For more than 40 years. Under both Republicans and Democrats. IT WAS A MISTAKE.”
Wow! The article is well worth reading.
It is likely this cover story marks a watershed event in the Conservative Movement. It is no longer a fringe idea to suggest China is a threat to the United States. The vulnerability of many Democrats, including Biden, to Chinese commercial ties and influence are features of the 2020 Presidential campaign.
Moreover, there is a kind of historical inversion which is taking place.
Trump, at first, was linked to the American First Movement prior to World War II which was “isolationist” and did not recognize the threat of either Imperial Japan or Nazi Germany. Trump thus was seen as reactionary and retrograde among think tank intellectuals.
But in a strange inversion, it was the ECM and Progressives that could not recognize China as a threat every bit as dangerous as Nazi Germany. Trump turns out to be Churchill while the establishment of both parties and much of America’s business leaders turn out to be Charles Lindberg.
Because China has been so successful at compromising international institutions, getting the U.S. free of the clutches of these international surrogates for China might appear on the surface to be isolationist but it must be done because China is increasingly recognized as a threat, not a trading partner.
If international organizations have been captured by a hostile adversary, Trump’s vision of putting America first and keeping it strong and independent is wise, prudent and necessary.
Obviously, the relationship with China and the CCP is on the November 3rd ballot. A vote for Biden is a vote for continuing the 40-year capitulation to China.