Tag Archives: Gordon Chang

US Border Strategy

With Daniel Krauthammer, Matthew Continetti, Gordon Chang and Robert Charles

DANIEL KRAUTHAMMER, Editor of The Point of It All: A Lifetime of Great Loves and Endeavors:

  • Charles Krauthammer’s “The Point of it All”

MATTHEW CONTINETTI, Editor in Chief of the Washington Free Beacon, Contributing Editor to the Weekly Standard, Author of “The K Street Gang: The Rise and Fall of the Republican Machine” (2006), Author of “The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star” (2009):

  • Are we in the opening stages of a second Cold War with China?
  • Consequences of widening divisions within the US

GORDON CHANG, The Daily Beast contributor, Author of The Coming Collapse of China and Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World:

  • Beijing’s increasing human rights violations
  • Implications of the recent decline of China’s economy
  • Xi’s detainment of two Canadian citizens

ROBERT CHARLES, Former Assistant Secretary of State at the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in the Bush Administration, Author of Eagles and Evergreens:

  • Details on the recent cut off of US military support for the Saudi led coalition in Yemen
  • Significance of enforcing US border security

How Huawei Threatens U.S. National Security

With Sam Faddis, Dr. Stephen Blank, Hans von Spakovsky and Gordon Chang

SAM FADDIS, Former CIA Operations Officer, Senior Editor at And Magazine:

  • Why Huawei is a major threat to U.S. national security
  • Iran’s threats to disrupt the world’s oil supply
  • How Tehran is using Khashoggi’s murder to their benefit

STEPHEN BLANK, Senior Fellow for Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council:

  • Russian collusion during the 2016 Presidential election
  • The fundamental flaw with arms control treaties
  • Russian standoff in Sea of Azov

HANS VON SPAKOVSKY, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation:

  • Vote harvesting and its impact on the 2018 election
  • North Carolina election fraud allegations
  • Florida referendum automatically restoring felons’ right to vote

GORDON CHANG, Author of The Coming Collapse of China and Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World:

  • Why the arrest of a Huawei executive has enraged Beijing
  • Should the Canadians grant Meng bail?
  • American businessmen disillusioned with China
  • Chinese military officer threatening to attack U.S. vessels

The New Trump-Xi Trade Deal

With Robert Charles, Gordon Chang, Seth Cropsey and Kevin Freeman

ROBERT CHARLES, Former Assistant Secretary of State at the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in the Bush Administration, Author of Eagles and Evergreens:

  • Current details on Central American caravan implications
  • The origin of the term ‘refugee status’

GORDON CHANG, The Daily Beast contributor, Author of The Coming Collapse of China and Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World:

  • Trump announces 90-day truce with China
  • Why disengagement is the right path regarding Beijing
  • Ominous developments on the Korean peninsula

SETH CROPSEY, Senior Fellow and Director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower, Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy in Reagan and Bush Administrations, Former principal deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, Author of Seablindness: How Political Neglect is Choking American Seapower and What to do About It (August 2017):

  • Russia’s harassment of Ukrainian ships
  • Why Putin’s ambitions for the Black Sea should concern us

KEVIN FREEMAN, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy, Host of Economic War Room, Author of “Game Plan” and “Secret Weapon”:

  • Beijing’s declared economic warfare against the US
  • Was the Trump-Xi meeting successful?

NATO’s Trident Juncture 18

With J. Michael Waller, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, Michael Cutler and Gordon Chang

J. MICHAEL WALLER, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at the Center for Security Policy, Editorial Board Member of the NATO Defense Strategic Communications Journal:

  • Prospects for the upcoming G20 summit
  • Implications of a possible EU Army
  • How the new Interpol management poses a risk

DR. PETER VINCENY PRY, Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, Served on the Congressional EMP Commission, the House Armed Services Committee and the CIA:

  • NATO- Exercise Trident Juncture 18
  • Insights into what happened to the EMP Commission
  • The reality of the EMP threat we face from Pyongyang

MICHAEL CUTLER, Retired Senior Special Agent of the former Immigration and Naturalization Services, Hosts the radio show, “The Michael Cutler Hour” on Friday evenings on BlogTalk Radio:

  • Significance of enforcing US border security
  • Consequences of incoming Central America originated caravan
  • How politics are trumping common sense

GORDON CHANG, Author of “The Coming Collapse of China” and “Nuclear Showdown; North Korea Takes on the World:”

  • Upcoming meeting between Trump and Jinping
  • Implications of using retaliatory cyber attacks against China
  • Beijing’s controlling “social credit score” system

US- China Relations: Time For Disengagement?

With Liz Yore, Diana West, Gordon Chang and David Goldman

LIZ YORE, Attorney and International Child Rights Advocate, Head of End FGM Today:

  • FGM is no longer criminalized under federal law
  • Long-term physical and emotional impacts of FGM procedure
  • Significance of the ‘The Safe Act’ HR3317

DIANA WEST, Nationally Syndicated Columnist, Blogs at Dianawest.net:

  • How demographic changes have brought FGM to the United States
  • When did the fundamental transformation of America began?
  • White House asserts new standards for press corps

GORDON CHANG, Author of “The Coming Collapse of China” and “Nuclear Showdown; North Korea Takes on the World:”

  • What to expect from upcoming G20 meeting between Trump and Jinping
  • Implications of Beijing’s predatory trade practices
  • Chinese Confucius Institutes on American campuses

DAVID GOLDMAN, Author of How Civilizations Die, best known for his series of essays in the Asia Times under the pseudonym Spengler:

  • Why Saudi Arabia is currently a strategic US ally
  • Consequences of Hezbollah’s missile campaign against Israel

Putin Unveils Nuclear Spaceship

Sander Gerber, Dr. Mark Schneider, Gordon Chang and Bill Gertz

SANDER GERBER, Chief executive and investment officer at Hudson Bay Capital Management:

  • The Palestinian Authority’s budget for terror
  • The Taylor Force Act- an incredible public policy initiative

DR. MARK SCHNEIDER, Senior Analyst with the National Institute for Public Policy, Longtime career in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy:

  • NATO Chief calls on Russia to comply with INF treaty
  • Putin reveals nuclear spaceship

GORDON CHANG, The Daily Beast contributor, Author of The Coming Collapse of China and Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World:

  • Pence and Bolton speak at ASEAN
  • China’s ambitions in Central and South America

BILL GERTZ, Senior editor at the Washington Free Beacon, Inside the Ring columnist at the Washington Times, Author of iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age (2016):

  • Why cutting 5% of current defense budget is consequential
  • Beijing’s massive military buildup

US Border Enforcement Policies and National Security

With Hans von Spakovsky, Robert Charles, Gordon Chang and Elaine Donnelly

HANS VON SPAKOVSY, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation, Former Member of the Federal Election Commission:

  • The birthright citizenship controversy
  • Consequences of voter fraud during Midterm elections

ROBERT CHARLES, Former Assistant Secretary of State at the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in the Bush Administration, Author of Eagles and Evergreens:

  • Implications of incoming Central American caravan
  • Why Trump is right to enforce US border security

GORDON CHANG, The Daily Beast contributor, Author of The Coming Collapse of China and Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World:

  • President Trump’s new posture towards China
  • Significance of supply chains moving out of Beijing
  • Are the Chinese cutting back on their imports of Iranian oil?

ELAINE DONNELLY, Founder and President of the Center for Military Readiness, Appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces in 1992:

  • Federal judges intervening in immigration policy
  • Implications of transgender personnel in the military

Seoul Props Up North Korean Regime

With Kevin Freeman, Gordon Chang, Claudia Rosett and George Rasley

KEVIN FREEMAN, Senior Fellow at Center for Security Policy, Author of “Game Plan: How to Protect Yourself from the Coming Cyber-Economic Attack,” Author of “Secret Weapon: How Economic Terrorism Brought Down the U.S. Stock Market and Why It Can Happen Again,” Founder of Globaleconomiwarfare.com:

  • The significance of the upcoming election
  • China’s unrestricted warfare against the US

GORDON CHANG, Author of “The Coming Collapse of China” and “Nuclear Showdown; North Korea Takes on the World:”

  • Takeaways from getting with General Hodges
  • Is Xi Jinping preparing for war against the US?
  • How Trump’s withdraw of INF treaty reduces chances for war

CLAUDIA ROSETT,  Foreign Affairs columnist at Forbes.com, Blogs at “The Rosett Report” at PJ Media:

  • How do we adequately punish the Saudis post Khashoggi affair
  • Why we must designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization

GEORGE RASLEY, Editor of Conservative HQ:

  • Political manipulation of recent pipe bomb mailings
  • Members of the Left’s incitement of violence

Tensions Rising in South China Sea

With Frank Gaffney, Gordon Chang and Itamar Marcus

FRANK GAFFNEY, CEO & President at Center for Security Policy:

  • John Bolton visits Moscow
  • Significance of Trump withdrawing US from INF Treaty

GORDON CHANG, Author of “The Coming Collapse of China” and “Nuclear Showdown; North Korea Takes on the World:”

  • Rising threat Beijing is posing in South China Sea
  • John Bolton’s pivot toward Asia
  • US considering Navy transit through Taiwan Strait

ITAMAR MARCUS, Founder and Director of Palestinian Media Watch:

  • How Palestinian media incites violence
  • Implications of funding families of terrorists


  • President Trump’s policies towards Israel
  • Is a ‘peace solution’ really feasible?

Secure Freedom Radio: Deep Dive on China with Gordon Chang

Gordon Chang is the author of The Coming Collapse of China and Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World.

Listen to the interview here.


Welcome to Secure Freedom Radio. This is Frank Gaffney, your host and guide for what I think of as an intelligence briefing on the war for the free world. We’re going to have an extraordinary conversation with one of the most intelligent men I know, whose insights into specifically the Asia theatre of this war for the free world are, well, unparalleled, I think, in our country at the moment. His name is Gordon Chang. We feature him here each week and we’re going to be privileged to have a full hour of conversation with him about what’s going on in Asia with China most especially and, for that matter, much of the rest of the world as well. But before we do that, I did want to make a very quick and personal announcement. With, again, the greatest of pleasure, my friend and colleague of many years, a frequent guest on this program, Fred Fleitz, a career intelligence professional with experience at the Central Intelligence Agency, as chief of staff to undersecretary of state John Bolton and as a professional staff member of the House intelligence committee for some four years, a member of the senior ranks of our organization, the Center for Security Policy, has recently been playing the role of chief of staff and executive secretary of the National Security Council under Ambassador John Bolton. I have asked Fred Fleitz to cut short his service in government in the senior-most ranks of the National Security Council and return to play a new role with the Center for Security Policy, that of the job that I’ve had the blessing of performing for the past thirty years, the president and CEO of our organization. Fred has, of course, very close and deep knowledge of the job that that requires and will do it brilliantly, I know. I am going to take on a new role at the Center, that of the executive chairman. I’ll stay very deeply involved in the organization and help Fred and the rest of our wonderful team in every way possible. Including by continuing to serve as the host of this program, I’m pleased to say. I wanted just to share this good news with you as I think it marks the very promising beginning of the Center’s second thirty years of operations and it’s going to be a delight to watch and work with Fred in making it be an even better, more impactful organization. Which brings me to one of the people who is having a great impact in terms of America’s understanding of the challenges that we’re facing, most especially from communist China at the moment, our friend and colleague Gordon Chang. Gordon, forgive me for cutting into our time together to make that announcement, but I wanted to share it with you as well as our audience and welcome you back. It’s great to have you as always.


Well, thank you so much, Frank. And I really appreciate this opportunity to talk to your audience.


Well, it’s going to be a treat because I’ve been noodling about all of the things that we need to talk about, that barely we have time to do justice to when we have our short segments with you, but this is – this is really a great opportunity at a pivotal moment, I think, for us to take stock of what is going on with and as a result of communist China’s activities, and before we get to all of that, though, I thought we ought to do a little level setting, as they say, and I would really benefit from, and I think our audience would as well, a little bit of your personal history. Tell us how you came to be one of America’s preeminent authorities on China and, for that matter, Asia at the Daily Beast, with your two important books, of course, The Coming Collapse of China and Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World and your appearances at FOX and elsewhere, we’re so grateful for all of them, but how did this come to pass?


Well, I’m not sure about being an authority, but let me just tell you how I got where I am at this point, at that is I was practicing law in Hong Kong and in California and eventually Shanghai, where we moved in August of 1996. And when we were there and we arrived, this was a time of great optimism in China. Because things were happening. There was reform. Many people thought the country was moving in a right direction. And I can remember my wife, as soon as we arrived in the city, she got on the phone and said, mom, China’s not communist anymore. And I certainly agreed with her. But as we practiced law there and met – we travelled around the country, we talked to people, we saw things, we saw a very different China than was the general narrative. Cause I can remember my clients arriving in Shanghai for three or four days, they’d stay at the Grand Hyatt, which is just an awesome hotel, and they’d say the same thing that my wife did. It just didn’t add up, though. And as we’ve seen over the last almost two decades, there has really been a change in China much for the worse. And it really is communist. I mean, people say, well, look, the Chinese leaders no longer believe in communism and one can debate that for quite some time, but we do know they believe in hard-line governance. They’re moving from authoritarianism to totalitarianism. They’re closing up their economy. They are basically turning their back on all the things that made them successful. When Deng Xiaoping started the reform and opening up era in December of 1978, which means, yes, we are approaching the fortieth anniversary of the reform era, but we’re doing so at a time when China is turning back on reform and opening up.


I want to get to that, obviously, and explore with you in detail, Gordon Chang, the implications of it all, but maybe we spend just a little bit more time talking about China’s historic role well before the communists turned up and seized power and began their long march. There was a lot of history, of course, successive Chinese dynasties and their imperial reach. We won’t be able to do justice to it if we spend the full hour talking about it, but just, again, for the purposes of level setting, for thinking about why China behaves the way it does today or aspires to in the future, what is the tradition and the perception of its rightful place in the world that informs all of that?


Yeah, this is important, because a lot of people say that Xi Jinping, the current ruler, is going back to the Maoist era. And in many ways, he is. But he’s also reaching further back into Chinese history. Because he is promoting the idea that China is the world’s only legitimate state. Yet Chinese emperors, and this is essentially two thousand years, believed that there was only one legitimate state and that was China. Chinese emperors ruled all under heaven or Tiensia [PH] Well, Xi Jinping, for more than a decade, has been using Tiensia-like language. So, for instance, in his 2017 New Years’ message, he said that, and this is almost a direct quote, that we Chinese have always believed that all of humanity is one family under heaven. And to make this even more explicit, Wang Yi, who’s currently the foreign minister, in September of last year, wrote an article in [UNCLEAR] Times, which is the Central Party School’s newspaper and quite authoritative. And in that article, Wang Yi said that Xi Jinping’s thought on diplomacy replaces three hundred years of Western international relations theory.


Gordon, we have to pause. We will be right back with more with Gordon Chang on what all of that history means for you, right after this.


We’re back for our second segment with Gordon Chang, our duty expert on matters involving Asia. We are speaking about what is going on in China, what has been, for many years, and what is happening at the moment, and Gordon, you mentioned from your own time there your wonderful wife Lydia concluding that the communist era had come to an end because of Deng Xiaoping and the kinds of reforms that he was setting in train. However, he also had a famous dictum to the effect of bide your time and hide your strength or something to that effect, in other words, was his purpose to mask what he ultimately sought, which was to rebuild China’s strength and be, once again, as we’re talking about the historical center of the universe. Talk a little bit about his role and how that has set the stage for the China that we’re facing today.


We have really misunderstood the reform era as started by Deng. Deng was a communist party official, high up, purged by Mao Tse-Tung, the founder of the people’s republic. Deng was purged three times. But he was, in many ways, the strongest of the officials who survived Mao’s death in September of 1976. And within two years, he was able to depose Mao’s chosen successor, Hua Guofeng, and start what we call the reform era. Deng didn’t really mean that capitalism was the way China should go forward. He talked about socialism with Chinese characteristics. A lot of people said, oh, that really is our form of economy in markets. No, it’s not. It’s just that he wanted to use a little bit of market influence to make communism stronger. Many people thought, well, okay, we understand this is still socialism, but inevitably capitalism will win out. And one can argue about this, because this is one of the most fascinating topics of discussion about China, but the point is that Deng started China on a path which many people thought was irrevocable. But apparently it wasn’t, because Xi Jinping, who became communist party general secretary in 2012, has reversed reform and opening up and we’re starting to see a state which has taken a much larger role in the economy and in the markets. We are seeing much more predatory trade behaviour. We are seeing China going in all the wrong directions as it closes up its economy and, indeed, closes up its society as a whole.


I guess we’ll never know whether were Deng still alive and running things, whether it would be different or whether this is really where he intended the country to go all along. He just had to make certain changes to get it on a footing that would enable it to build up both its economic power and its military strength. But wherever he would have taken it, we know where we are now with Xi Jinping. And I guess what I would ask you to explore with us a little bit, Gordon Chang, is when you talk about Xi, one of the things that has been used to sort of characterize his thought, if you will, his ideological agenda, it’s been described as the China dream, which is not to be confused with the American dream by any means. Talk us through some of the characteristics or elements of the China dream as we now understand it.


It’s generally thought to be a strong and resurgent nation, one where China doesn’t suffer what it had during the so-called century of humiliation. There are a number of elements to it, but as we’re finding out essentially we’re talking about a state-led, state-dominated economy. We’re talking about a communist party that has absolute control over society. And also one where Xi Jinping has absolute control over the party. So, you know, many people are now starting to say that he is the only free person in China. His opponents mock him as the chairman of everything. And indeed, he has made himself that. When things are going well for China, that means that Xi Jinping’s power is strengthened. But when things don’t go well for China, and they’re not going well right now, it means there are political problems, because Xi Jinping has deinstitutionalized the communist party. In other words, one of the things that Deng did to modernize China was to try to create rules, guidelines, norms, for the communist party so that it could smooth out successions, for instance. What Xi Jinping has done is he’s turned his back on those rules and that means that political warfare in China has now become, again, unrestricted. And that means when someone like Xi Jinping is in trouble, it means he could not only lose power, but he could also lose his freedom and maybe even his life. We’re going back to those existential struggles that mark the Maoist period.


Yeah, the Maoist period and an awful lot of other Chinese history, of course. When you talk about unrestricted political warfare, of course, Gordon, this calls to mind another kind of unrestricted warfare, and that is what two PLA colonels announced in a book famously published by the Chinese government in 1999. But before we get to that, I’d like to just ask you one more question about Deng Xiaoping. And that is, I’ve been given to understand that in 1991, very much still in the, you know, reformist moment, he saw the fall of the Soviet Union and the effective triumph of the United States in the Cold War as an epic moment and is reported to have said to his team, the United States is now at war with us. We are going to be engaged in a new Cold War against America and we will win this time. Is that an accurate rendering of what happened and that set in train, as I said earlier, much of what Xi is now sort of trying to operationalize as a non-peaceful rise of China, if you will?


What’s clear, Frank, is that the Chinese communist party has identified the United States as its primary adversary. And it does see a new Cold War, cause it uses that term often. Even though it says there shouldn’t be one. That is the mentality of China, because essentially the communist party needs an enemy. It had, as its enemy, the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union fell at the end of 1991, it switched focus to the United States. Which is ironic, because the US was responsible in many ways for helping China become part of the international community, for helping China develop its economy and society. And so a lot of Chinese people. And that’s not the case. But that’s the way senior officials and leaders in the communist party view it. Right now, the communist party is obsessed about its survival. It has been especially since the fall of the Soviet Union. And it devotes substantial time and resources to studying why the Soviet Union fell and how the Chinese communist party can avoid that fate. So this is a deeply insecure political system.


Which brings us to how they wanted to conduct themselves in this era of trying to compete with the United States and ultimately supplant it as a world-straddling power. Unrestricted warfare in sort of the economic and asymmetric arenas, while China built up its military strength, was very much the leitmotif of this book of that name, Unrestricted Warfare. Talk us through what these colonels had in mind and how that has in fact been put into practice during the period from Deng right on to the present moment.


This book is fascinating because it illustrates the mentality of the senior leadership of the communist party. In essentially unrestricted warfare, you know, the theory of that book is exactly the title. I think one of the most illuminating pages in that book is it enumerates about thirteen types of warfare, including the use of nuclear weapons, and it says that the combination of any of these types of warfare is what we should be pursuing. So, for instance, cyber and nuclear weapons or whatever. You know, this is completely antithetical to the way that we sort of view the world. And so we got to understand it. Well, part of this unrestricted warfare is the use of fentanyl. It is manufactured by Chinese gangs. It is imported illegally into the United States. It kills tens of thousands of Americans a year. The Chinese government and the communist party obviously know what’s going on because they run a surveillance society. And so this is an attempt to undermine American society. They use all sorts of types of what we would call asymmetrical attempts to kill off the United States. And it’s very important that we understand that’s their goal and that they’re willing to do anything in order to achieve it.


Let me make sure I’ve got this straight. Am I hearing you saying, Gordon Chang, that the Chinese government is complicit, at least to the extent that it’s fully aware of what is being done by its nationals to kill Americans in this country through the importation, the illegal trafficking of this deadly drug, fentanyl?


Yes, Frank. It’s the Chinese government and the Chinese communist party. Because they do run a surveillance state. They know everything that’s going on. And if they don’t know about it, it’s because they don’t want to know. And this fentanyl traffic has been going on for years. It’s obviously organized by large-scale gangs, because you can’t do that in a small one or two conspiracy. So clearly, the Chinese government is behind this and it’s – the theory, Frank, is that if you run a totalitarian state, you’re responsible for everything good and everything bad in that state. Especially when the surveillance state would pick all of this up, especially when we’ve been complaining about it, especially when they haven’t been doing anything about it.


We’ll be talking more with the great Gordon Chang, Secure Freedom Radio’s duty expert on all of these matters and that of much of the rest of the free world, happily, right after this.


We’re back. We are continuing this hour-long, very special conversation with Gordon Chang. I honestly don’t know anybody whose insights and analysis of China and what it is doing in the world, not just in its own neighborhood, but much, much further beyond, I value more highly. And it is a privilege to have him on our program each week and then every once in awhile to impose even further on his time as we’re doing today for a full hour. Gordon, again, thank you for all of that. You’ve mentioned a couple of times now something that I just, before we get back into the war we’re in with China and not of our choosing, but because they feel it’s necessary, by drilling down for just a moment on the nature of the enemy we’re up against. You’ve talked about the transformation from an authoritarian regime to a totalitarian one, whether it’s strictly speaking communist or something else. But you’ve also alluded to this surveillance state. I just wanted you to say a word or two about what has come to be called the social credit score in China. What is that and how do the Chinese, well, both obtain the kind of information by which such a thing could be made, and what does it mean for the Chinese people and perhaps others besides?


Yeah. At the current moment, a number of localities have a social credit system and these are experimental. And what it does is it assigns a score to every resident based upon observed behaviors. So it’s not just a question of whether you pay your credit card on time. It’s a question of jaywalking, your political thoughts, whatever. The party state intends to have a national social credit system in place within two years. And in order to create that, they are, of course, fitting together these experimental systems and they are taking all of the information that they gather and feeding it into that system. So, for instance, by 2020, Beijing plans to have six hundred and twenty-six million surveillance cameras in place. So what’s observed on those cameras will go into the social credit system as well as everything else that they can find out about a person. And indeed, in their system, they can find out an awful lot. What this, of course, means is that it’s going to affect people’s behavior and it’s going to affect the way that they talk and think about their political system. So that’s why this is a concern because we see China going back to a totalitarian system. And then the social credit system is going to be a large reason why China is no longer authoritarian but has indeed gone back to what we have seen in the 1950s under Mao Tse-Tung.


Well, it’s Mao Tse-Tung, or for that matter, Orwell on steroids, Gordon, because, for example, with these cameras and the combination of very sophisticated facial recognition software and artificial intelligence and big data compilation and manipulation and quantum computing and all of these other technologies that the Chinese are beavering away at, this will really provide the most intimate of information about everyone subjected to it. And as you say, it can affect all aspects of your life. If your score is not so good, you may well be unable to get a job, for example, let alone a place to live or presumably the means by which to sustain your family. I mean, it can become an instrument of the most comprehensive and horrific forms of oppression. And as you say, there are other countries around the world that presumably will not only emulate what the Chinese are doing, but perhaps some of those that are watching the Chinese build out these information technology infrastructures through their belt and road initiative perhaps, for example, will be actually employing these Chinese techniques and technologies to do the same in countries throughout Asia and, for that matter, Africa, Latin American, and perhaps beyond. Is that right?


Well, the Chinese, actually I think are going to extend their system once they perfect it at home. And then they’ll start assigning scores to foreigners. They’re already collecting information about people outside of the borders of China. So, for instance, Uyghurs, the Muslims in the north western part of China, they’re collecting substantial amounts of information about Uyghurs who live in other places. You know, so far they’ve used the social credit system to prevent people from getting airline tickets. But there are a number of Chinese officials who believe that, as you point out and as you’ve said, that Chinese with low scores should be hounded out of society. This is, for us it’s important because, you know, people say, Frank, well, look, we have facial recognition technology and we’ve got big data and we’ve got other elements that the Chinese are going to be using in their social credit system. And that’s, of course, true. A lot of this technology has been developed in the West. But the point is, because we live in a democracy, there are limits placed on what the government can do with data that it has. In China, there are, of course, no such limits. And the reason why this is really important for us, Frank, is that artificial intelligence works best when it has a lot of data. In China, their AI is going to have unlimited amounts of data, whereas ours, of course, will not, which means they’ll be leaders in artificial intelligence in all probability. That’s just the nature of democratic systems, I wouldn’t change it any other way. But we’ve got to understand the nature of the challenge and the abilities and capabilities that Beijing is putting together.


Again, let me just bring this to a specific case in point, Gordon. What you’ve just said about extending this social credit score or the accumulation of data and analysis of it and manipulation and exploitation of it has a different kind of direct implication for the United States when you think that the Chinese are believed to have broken into the databases of the office of personnel management a few years ago and ripped off information of the most sensitive kind about as many as twenty-one past and present US government officials, and that would include military personnel, that would include, of course, officeholders, that would include basically anybody who had security clearances, which would be, in addition, intelligence personnel and even spies. And this is – this is a source of data that if, in the wrong hands, with the kind of ability to evaluate it and exploit it, may not simply create a kind of social score, but a death warrant for people who are deemed to be enemies of China. This is just one example, the hacking that that caper entailed. It’s just one specific example of China at war with us and I wanted to go through a couple of others, Gordon. We’re getting through this program far more rapidly than I would like because there’s so much more to talk about, but talk for a bit about what we’re seeing in the way of this Chinese practice of warfare against us. We’ve touched a little bit on the economic warfare piece of it. There’s intelligence, there’s the influence operations as well as the increasing military threats. So paint that picture out a little bit if you would, please.


Well, China certainly is using information warfare against the United States. And the way we see this now as being debated in our society is China’s attempts to influence the 2018 midterms. In other words, the elections next month. What we have seen is China certainly trying to influence American public opinion. They’ve been trying to do that for quite some time. They spend a lot of money doing it. There was that infamous four-page insert in the Des Moines Register. China summoned the heads of Wall Street for a September 16th meeting in Beijing. The Chinese ambassador to the US is now on a tear, talking to every media outlet he possibly can find. What China has not done, Frank, is what the Russians did in 2016. In other words, all of the bots and the trolls and the rest of it. But China has apparently built the infrastructure to do that, they just haven’t unleashed it yet. But clearly, China has been using ways to influence the American public. And not all of them are generally considered to be acceptable. So, for instance, Vice-President Pence spoke about China on October 4th at Hudson Institute. Well, that was no coincidence of the date or the place. Because on October 4th, 2017 at the Hudson Institute, they were going to have an event for Guo Wengui, the Chinese businessman turned tattle-wall, tell-all. And apparently China used cyber-attacks to prevent Hudson from holding that event and there are stories about even more sinister and insidious ways that they worked on Hudson to prevent the Guo event. So clearly, China is involved in both legal and generally considered to be acceptable ways of influencing American opinion. We need to combat it as President Trump has said.


Yeah, amen. Well, and that’s just one example, of course, of the toll this is taking. Gordon, just very quickly, one of the things that the Vice-President talked about as have others, including the President and members of congress on both sides of the aisle, is China’s ripping off of American intellectual property. Some of it defense-related and therefore of obvious concern to our national security. Some of it simply of an economic character. Can you give us a sense of the magnitude of what they’re doing in that form of unrestricted warfare against our country?


China grabs, either by forced taking or by outright theft hundreds of billions of dollars of US intellectual property every year. And that is – you can see it from the 2013 report on the commission on the theft of US intellectual property, the Blair-Huntsman Report and its 2017 update, as well as the two hundred and fifteen page report from the US trade representative, which was issued in March. This is the greatest theft in history, as people have said, and we’ve got to stop it.


Gordon, we’re going to do a net assessment here of how this is working out. That and much more with the author of an excellent article on the subject at the national interest, our friend and colleague, Gordon Chang, right after this.


We’re back for the final installment of this extraordinarily informative and very timely conversation with Gordon Chang, one of our favorite guests and most influential thinkers on matters involving Asia and China and our interests there and beyond. Gordon, we’ve been talking about how we’ve got to this pass where the United States is finally coming to grips, it seems, under President Trump, thankfully, with the reality that China is at war with us, has been for many years, and is well advanced in efforts to undermine our economy, influence our political affairs, threaten us militarily and in so many other ways advance their agenda of supplanting us as the dominant power in the world to, I believe, the great detriment of the world. Would you talk a little bit about your thesis in this new essay that you’ve just penned for the National Interest under the title “China’s Rise and America’s Fall Just Won’t Happen: Here’s Why”?


So far, Frank, we’ve been talking about China’s intentions, which are malign. What’s important, though, is China’s capabilities and we’re seeing a Chinese economy right now which is certainly fragile and is faltering as is indicated, for instance, by their GDP statistics. China’s not growing in the six percent range as the National Bureau of Statistics reports. It’s probably in the onesies, twosies, maybe even in the low threes. But the point is, the United States is – has a much bigger economy than China’s. Last year, we reported 19.39 trillion dollars of gross domestic product. China reported 12.84 trillion. And our economy is growing faster. We’re growing in the four percent range and, as I mentioned, China is growing somewhere a lot slower. China’s accumulating a lot of debt. And as we discussed earlier, what made China successful, its reform and opening up policy, has now been abandoned and China’s going back to a proven unsuccessful formula. So in a sense, China does not pose a long term challenge to the United States. But that really doesn’t matter, because what we’ve got to be concerned about is China in the here and now. And as Xi Jinping is starting to look out, he can see that there’s a closing window of opportunity for China to challenge the United States and take us down. And so I’m very concerned about this next five year period where China is going to engage, I believe, in behaviors which are going to take us by surprise.


I am, too. And this is really what I wanted to make sure we drill down on a little bit with you, Gordon Chang, this could come in any number of ways. Taiwan seems to be a specific vulnerable target that the Chinese are pursuing with increasing aggressiveness. They’ve put into place, well, some kind of presence, if not yet a fully military one, in strategic chokepoints all over the world, from the South China Sea to the Panama Canal. They are building up their military in a way that, I must say, were this the Cold War and it were the Soviet Union, we would be at general quarters. It’s very ominous indeed. And then, as John Bolton pointed out in a speech last week, or in remarks last week, the Chinese are now increasingly acting aggressively against us with some of those military forces to the point of near collisions at sea and potential loss of life of American sailors. Gordon, as you assess this, there’s one other piece that I want to always bring back into it because I worry about it a lot, we have a Chinese military that seems to be increasingly in the sort of commanding position within the Chinese communist party, especially with Xi Jinping, and there is this demographic problem that you’ve described with us frequently in the past of some, I’ve heard as many as forty million, Chinese young men of military age for whom there are no women in their country. All of this seems to be perilous in the extreme, ripe for perhaps miscalculation or design for conflict that, as you say, could well be upon us unexpectedly even in the next five years. Again, quickly talk us through that, if you would.


Yeah, China has actually emboldened. We saw that early this year when we learned that China was using lasers to blind American pilots. They did that over Djibouti at the Horn of Africa. This, for me at least, is the first time I can think of where China has injured American service personnel since the end of the fighting in the Korean War in 1953. And we have yet to respond, Frank, to that incident. Because China is also lasering our planes in the South China Sea and East China Sea. So we have not deterred them. And obviously, we cannot put our servicepeople in harm’s way and not respond. So this is going to be, I think, a critical issue as we look forward. You know, China is a dangerous aggressive state. We have yet to deter it. And this is going to be the central challenge of American foreign policy in the years ahead.


No doubt about that. The question is, can we in fact deter China without greatly enhancing both our own unrestricted warfare in the form of retaliatory measures for their economic predations as well as really rebuilding our nuclear as well as conventional forces so as to deter the communist Chinese. And do we likely have the time in which to do all of that?


Those are critical questions. The Chinese navy right now has more ships than we do. And of course in an area of conflict, they can bring – they can concentrate their forces as we’re spread out all over the world. So we don’t have the military that we need. And it’s a military that is configured not to fight another great power. So we come to the fight with the wrong military. So these are critical challenges. You know, we’re learning all the time about our failures at readiness. So even basic things right now, we’ve got to be very concerned. That’s not to say we’re not a capable military, of course we are. But we need to be a bigger one. And more important, Frank, we need to have a new mentality as we look at the Chinese and we face their challenges. We’re seeing a new attitude towards China in Washington across the political spectrum. But we need to be even more determined and more resolute because the challenges are going to come fast and furious and right now, we are not prepared.


No, we’re not. And that’s especially true in some of these domains that, as you say, we’ve not really been reckoning with a competitor of a comparable power. Space comes to mind, cyber is another domain. But increasingly even at sea in places like the Western Pacific. Gordon, speaking of the Western Pacific, I did want to talk about one other issue that you’ve been very focused on and very helpfully discussing, Korea. North Korea is, of course, a puppet of communist China. Even if Kim Jong-un actually did want to eliminate his nation’s nuclear weaponry, and I have, I must say, deep suspicions that that’s the case, but even if he did, Gordon, if the Chinese did not feel that that was desirable, do you think he’d be able to do it? And if not, aren’t we really facing essentially a proxy for China controlled by China and that ought to be how we approach this problem?


Yeah, we need to understand the relationship between Beijing and Pyongyang. And that, of course, is a very long conversation. But the important thing is that China’s been supplying crucial technologies and equipment to their ballistic missile program and as well as components, equipment, and materials for their nuclear weapons program. Beijing, of course, supports North Korea in diplomatic councils. And so we’ve got to understand that whatever the relationship is between the Chinese and the Koreans, and there’s a lot to say there, nonetheless, when China pulls the string, the North Koreans come running. We saw that three times this year when Kim Jong-un went to Chinese soil. Xi Jinping has yet to go to Korea. So that’s a real indication that North Korea – that’s a real indication that the Chinese are in control of this relationship. So we’ve got to look at China not as a partner on North Korea, but as on the other side.


Very much so. Which raises another question which, alas, we don’t have time to explore with you today, Gordon, but we will do so next week, and that is, what is the role South Korea’s premier, the president Moon Jae-in, is playing on behalf of North Korea? That is for another day. Gordon, I thank you so much for your time, of course, of this program and we, as always, will look forward to the chance to visit with you at greater length next time as well. Till then, be well, my friend. Thank you. And until tomorrow, my friends, I hope that you will be well also and that we will have the pleasure of your company. Tomorrow, same time, same station. Until then, this is Frank Gaffney. Thanks for listening.