Has China Taken Their Fight to the US Streets?

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping walks with U.S. President Donald Trump after attending a business event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi promised tax cuts and other help to China's entrepreneurs in a renewed effort to revive growth in a cooling, state-dominated economy amid a mounting tariff battle with Washington. Xi's comments, reported Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, by state media, follow a decline in Chinese economic growth to a post-global crisis low of 6.5 percent over a year ago in the three months ending in September. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

 

Ah, schadenfreude.

The Chinese Communist Party is reveling in the violence and destruction that has swept the U.S. since the death of George Floyd. The riots have handed the CCP an unexpected opportunity to hit back at America for our support of the anti-Chinese riots in Hong Kong and our criticism of their handling of the pandemic.

The country’s state-run media has gone into overdrive highlighting the looting and rioting and Chinese commentators have “blasted the U.S. government for failing to address America’s racial inequality.” Fancy that!

One Chinese media host told his viewers, “American politicians must ask themselves on what grounds do they spew their sanctimonious nonsense? Shouldn’t they ask the American people for forgiveness?”

Director of the Asia Society’s Center for U.S.-China Relations, Orville Schell, spoke to NPR and said, “I think the Chinese Communist propaganda apparatus is very grateful to have some burning cities in the United States right now, having had to suffer and feel deeply humiliated by the specter of Hong Kong being in a state of chaos.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, who originated the theory that U.S. soldiers had brought the coronavirus to Wuhan in October 2019 and was briefly silenced by Chinese ambassador Cui Tiankai, came out of exile to call out America’s “double standard.” He told reporters, “Many people may want to ask this question: Why does the U.S. refer to those ‘Hong Kong independence’ and black-clad rioters as ‘heroes’ and ‘fighters’ but label its people protesting against racial discrimination as ‘thugs’? Why did the U.S. have so many problems with the restrained and civilized way of law enforcement by the Hong Kong police but have no problem at all with threatening to shoot at and mobilizing the National Guard against its domestic protesters?”

Hua Chunying is the Director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Information Department. She is at least as venomous as her colleague, if not more so. Hua responded to a tweet from State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus, in which she expressed support for the people of Hong Kong, with the message, “I can’t breathe.”

Does China’s interest in the U.S. riots go deeper than simply jeering us over our current troubles? In addition to their propaganda, has their involvement become a little more hands on?

On Thursday, Attorney General William Barr addressed the riots at a DOJ press conference. He said:

While many have peacefully expressed their anger and grief, others have hijacked protests to engage in lawlessness, violent rioting, arson, looting of businesses, and public property assaults on law enforcement officers and innocent people, and even the murder of a federal agent. We have evidence that antifa and other similar extremist groups, as well as actors of a variety of different political persuasions have been involved in instigating and participating in the violent activity.

We are also seeing foreign actors playing all sides to exacerbate the violence.

To be clear, the only group or “movement” Barr singled out was antifa. He did not identify which specific country was involved, nor did he define what the nature of their participation might be.

However, considering that China is currently our biggest geopolitical foe, the CCP has a strong interest in intensifying the riots. The Chinese have infiltrated our universities, many of our corporations, as well as the American media.

Clearly, life would be easier for the CCP if Joe Biden were running the U.S. rather than President Trump. Given that, it isn’t too much of a stretch to believe the Chinese government is doing whatever it can to influence and escalate the riots.

Gregory R. Copley, the editor of the “Defense and Foreign Special Analysis” (this organization has provided research to policy-level officials in governments, armed forces, and intelligence services worldwide since 1972) makes the case for China’s involvement in a paper released on Friday. It was provided to me by a contact in Australia.

I’ve printed excerpts from Copley’s report below. There’s nothing radical here. Just a plausible (to me) foreigner’s perspective on how China might be involved in the current riots that have rocked America in the last couple of weeks. Copley writes:

Beijing, at the end of May 2020, fired the initial salvos of its now-open war with the US on the streets of the West, and mainly the US. It had been an increasingly implausible covert war until that point.

The war’s principal weapons and doctrines were, by the end of May 2020, in the information dominance (ID) realm, and the ID performance art of agitprop — agitation propaganda — crystalized the fight on many US and Western streets. It was a very pointed reinforcement, or refreshment, of the fear pandemic which was triggered by the COVID-19 crisis.

The deliberate use of agitprop to spur a continuation of the lockdown of the US and Western economies, and a continuation of unrest which this had caused against governments, meant that the May-June 2020 ID campaign was a critical part of Beijing’s strategic war to win the People’s Republic of China (PRC) some relief.

Many US domestic groups, but particularly local communist parties and well-funded ultra-left groups such as the “antifa” were already in search of a new cause with which to attack the Government of Pres. Donald Trump in the run-up to the November 3, 2020, elections.

What was significant was that many of these groups had already been penetrated by the Communist Party of China’s (CPC’s) Ministry of State Security [China’s intelligence, security and secret police agency], with which they were in open sympathy, and were ready to take their “performance art” onto the streets.

Defense & Foreign Affairs has seen credible evidence as well as strong secondary evidence of linkages between the MSS and other CPC assets in the commission of the eruption of street violence which was then, in turn, seized upon by other anti-Trump bodies in local and state governments to further their agenda.

For Beijing, this was a logical and vital step in its war to ensure that Trump did not get re-elected and that the US could not prevail against the PRC’s strategic rise.
The CPC was fighting for its life.

The CPC has given greater primacy to psychological warfare and agitprop for domestic and international power projection than have the US intelligence and information agencies. The CPC has been steeped in the professional use of psyops in strategic and tacitcal forms since the 1920s.

The CPC which is now profoundly reliant on the art. Information Dominance is the primary warfighting strategic weapon of aspirant powers. It should also be of equal importance to extant powers. But strategically-dominant powers tend to ignore the reality that they must utilize all the tools of amorphous warfare to retain their advantage.

Agitprop is the “performance art” of psychological strategy, and terrorism is an aspect of it…But it does not neglect the reality that it, like all warfare, requires its own version of “boots on the ground” or ships at the straits: physical action against targets.

Extracts from Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis 3 June 5, 2020 GIS Confidential © 2020 Global Information System, ISSA: Windows must still be smashed; graffiti still must be applied (now, more easily with spray-can paints), looting must still occur: fear and momentum must be built. Think globally; act locally.

Electronic media, including social media, can now mobilize widespread action at a scale and speed unthinkable even a decade earlier.

Today’s MSS is less discreet. Numerous mainland Chinese students and academics in the US have had visible and recorded contacts with some of the groups which sent out mobile strike teams to capitalize on the peaceful protests over the unlawful killing of George Floyd.

What was significant, too, apart from the intent of these roving gangs to organize violence on a rolling basis, was that Democratic-Party-controlled cities and states in the US facilitated the demonstrations which gave the opening to violence. Were they, as Lenin would have said, “willing idiots”? Or were they witting that they had teamed with an organized foreign attempt to continue the US political warfare?

That there were linked protests in Europe and Australia against US police violence confirms the presence of a more coherent organizing hand.

 

Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis: Founded in 1972. Formerly Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily Volume XXXVIII, No. 39 Friday, June 5, 2020
© 2020 Global Information System/ISSA.