Chapter Eighteen: The Chinese Communist Party’s Global Ambitions (Part I)

Table of Contents


1. The Chinese Communist Party’s Ambition to Replace the United States and Dominate the World
a. The CCP Has Always Aimed for World Domination
b. World Domination Requires Defeating the United States
c. The CCP Has a Multi-Pronged Strategy to Subvert and Contain the United States
d. The CCP Incites Anti-US Hatred to Prepare for War With America
e. The CCP No Longer Conceals Its Intentions in the Sino-US Relationship

2. Communist China’s Strategies for World Domination
a. One Belt, One Road Initiative Is Territorial Expansion Masked as Globalization
b. The CCP’s Great Periphery Strategy Aims to Exclude the US From the Asia-Pacific Region
c. Divide and Conquer in Europe Serves to Create a Split With the United States
d. The CCP Exports the ‘Chinese Model’ to Colonize Africa
e. Advancing Into Latin America, Encroaching on America’s Backyard
f. Communist China Flaunts Its Military Ambitions




The beginning of the twentieth century saw the Soviet communists violently seize power in Russia. The success of this revolution, in turn, paved the way for the communist specter’s primary actor: the Chinese Communist Party.

The CCP was established in 1921 by agents of the Far Eastern branch of the Communist International. Over the next several decades, the Soviet Union played a major role on the world stage, confronting the Western democratic camp in the Cold War. Westerners took the Soviet Union and its satellite communist regimes in Eastern Europe to be the archetypical communist adversary. The CCP, meanwhile, had ample time to establish and mature its regime.

The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, leaving the CCP regime alone on the world stage. Communist China took a new, nonconfrontational approach, enticing the rest of the world to engage with its capitalist market economy while retaining a totalitarian political system. Therefore, many Western scholars, entrepreneurs, and politicians did not regard the CCP as a communist party, but rather considered it a variant, at most.

This could not be further from the truth. The CCP has brought the defining characteristics of communist ideology — deceit, malice, and struggle — to the apex, creating a regime that employs the most pernicious and insidious methods of political intrigue developed over thousands of years of human history. The CCP seduces people with profits, controls them with power, and deceives them with lies. It has cultivated its demonic technique to the point of mastery.

China is home to five thousand years of history and a splendid traditional heritage, which have earned that ancient land and its people respect and admiration the world over. The CCP has capitalized on these positive sentiments. After seizing power and taking the Chinese people captive, it muddled the concepts of the Chinese nation and the CCP regime. It presented its ambitions under the camouflage of China’s “peaceful rise,” making it difficult for the international community to understand its true motives.

But the essential nature of the CCP has never changed. The Party’s strategy of economic engagement is simply to use the “nutrition of the capitalist body” to strengthen its own socialist body, to stabilize its rule, and to realize its ambitions, rather than to enable China to see true prosperity and strength. [1] In practice, its methods disregard basic ethics and universal values.

The countries that mankind has founded exist on the basis of their founders’ wisdom and faith in the Divine. Human society must follow the standards of conduct laid down by the Creator: to maintain high moral character, protect the right to private property, and adhere to universal values. The economic development of a normal society needs to be supported by corresponding moral standards.

But the CCP’s Party-state has followed a diametrically opposite path, creating a fast-rising economic abomination that has encouraged severe moral degeneracy. The evil specter’s motivation for arranging China’s “economic miracle” is simple: Without economic strength, the CCP regime would have no persuasive influence with which to dictate its terms to the world. These arrangements are not intended to benefit China or the Chinese people, but to play on people’s worship of money and wealth so that the world will align with the CCP in economic cooperation and international affairs.

Internally, the Communist Party rules through tyranny and the most ruthless aspects of the capitalist system. It rewards evil and punishes good, making the worst individuals into society’s most successful. Its policies magnify the evil side of human nature, using atheism to create a state of utter degeneracy in which people have no moral qualms.

When operating abroad, the CCP regime advocates the ideology of “Chinese characteristics,” meaning communism, and offers powerful economic incentives as a lure to have the people of the free world let down their guard, abandon moral principles, and turn a blind eye to the CCP’s vast abuses of human rights and its persecution of religion. Many politicians and corporations in Western countries have betrayed their values and compromised themselves in the face of profit, aligning themselves with the CCP’s practices.

Western countries hope they can help the CCP make a peaceful transformation, but while China has indeed undergone a degree of superficial modernization and westernization, the Party never changed its underlying nature. Over the past few decades, the practical result of engagement has seen the CCP successfully and peacefully undermine the moral obligations of the United States and corrupt the public will.

The CCP is the main arm of communism and thus the greatest threat worldwide. The communist specter’s aim in strengthening the global power of the CCP is to spread its poison to all corners of the earth and ultimately to have people betray tradition and the Divine. Even if the Party’s schemes for world domination are not directly successful, it will still have achieved the underlying purpose: to part people from their moral values. It does this by tempting people with economic interests, manipulating them with financial traps, infiltrating their political systems, intimidating them with military force, and confusing them with its propaganda.

Faced with such great danger, we must carefully examine the CCP regime’s ambition, strategy, tactics, and goals.

1. The Chinese Communist Party’s Ambition to Replace the US and Dominate the World

a. The CCP Has Always Aimed for World Domination

The CCP is not satisfied with being a regional power. It wants to control the world. This is determined by the Party’s inbuilt characteristic of tyranny. By its very nature, the Communist Party opposes heaven, earth, and tradition; it resorts to violence to smash the “old world” and aims to destroy all states, nations, and classes with the feigned goal of “liberating all humanity.” Its unchanging mission is one of constant expansion until the world is united under communist ideology. Its doctrines and practice are by definition globalist.

But because traditional culture was once quite powerful, communism has at times had to adopt a gradual and roundabout approach. In the Soviet Union, Stalin claimed the need for “socialism in one country”; more recently, the CCP has adopted “socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

Unlike the political parties that share power or hold power by rotation in Western democracies, the CCP has uncontested authority. It sets its strategic goals with a scope of decades or centuries. A few years after the Party established itself in 1949, it rolled out the slogan “surpass Britain and catch up to America,” which prefaced the Great Leap Forward. Later, owing to unfavorable domestic and international situations, the CCP assumed a low profile for decades.

After the Tiananmen Square massacre, the international community boycotted the Chinese regime. In response, the Party evaluated the situation and concluded that it was still unable to compete directly with the United States. Therefore, it took the path of hiding its strengths and biding its time, rather than attempting to take the lead on the international stage. This was not because the CCP had changed its goals, but because it adopts different strategies, based on the circumstances of the time, in its struggle to ultimately establish world hegemony.

It can be said that the communist specter used the ancient Chinese strategic feint of “openly repairing the plank roads while secretly advancing via the hidden route of Chencang.” The first communist superpower was the Soviet Union, but its ultimate role ended up being to aid the rise and maturation of the Chinese communist regime.

b. World Domination Requires Defeating the United States

Since World War I, the United States has been the most powerful country on earth, serving to maintain international order. Any country that wants to overturn this order must bring down the United States, so in terms of the CCP’s overall strategic considerations, America is the Party’s main enemy. This has been the case for decades, and the CCP has never stopped preparing for an all-out offensive against the United States.

In the book The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower, Michael Pillsbury wrote that China has a long-term strategy to subvert the U.S.-led world economic and political order and to replace it with communism by 2049, the one-hundredth anniversary of the Communist Party’s rise to power in China. Pillsbury notes that in the TV series Silent Contest, produced by the National Defense University of China, the ambition to compete with the United States is laid out clearly: The CCP’s process of realizing its “great cause” of dominating the world “will inevitably run into constant wear-and-tear and struggle with the U.S. hegemonic system,” and “it is a centennial contest, not to be shifted by the human will.” [2]

The CCP’s global strategy is centered on countering the United States. Arthur Waldron, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert on China, stated at a 2004 Senate hearing that the People’s Liberation Army is the only army in the world that is dedicated for anti-U.S. operations. [3] In fact, apart from the PLA, most of the CCP’s diplomatic relations and international activities have the United States as their direct or indirect target.

c. The CCP Has a Multi-Pronged Strategy to Subvert and Contain the United States

The CCP has taken a comprehensive approach toward succeeding in its attempt to dominate the world. In ideology, it competes with the United States and other countries where there is freedom and democracy. It uses forced technology transfers and intellectual-property theft to close the tech gap and boost its economic confidence. Militarily, it engages in a silent rivalry with the United States by means of asymmetrical and “unrestricted warfare” in places like the South China Sea. It backs North Korea, Iran, and other rogue regimes to impede the United States and NATO.

In diplomacy, the CCP regime has promoted its “great peripheral strategy” and the “One Belt, One Road” plan. It has very quickly expanded its international influence with neighboring countries, as well as countries in Europe, Africa, Oceania, and Latin America, in an attempt to build an international coalition, develop a Chinese-led sphere, and isolate the United States.

The CCP has multiple methods to accomplish these goals. It established the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 1996, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in 2015, and the “16+1” cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries in 2012. It cooperates keenly as part of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and vigorously promotes internationalization of its currency. It seeks to control the formulation of industrial standards (such as those used for the proposed 5G cellular networks) and to dominate public discourse.

The CCP regime has taken advantage of the democracy and freedom of the press that exist in the United States and other Western countries to carry out united front operations, spread propaganda, and engage in espionage. This is its attempt to manipulate the United States as much as possible and impose bloodless change from within.

Using these tactics, CCP agents bribe U.S. government officials, congressmen, diplomats, and retired military officers. The Party uses economic interests to guide American capitalists to lobby for the Chinese communists and to influence U.S. policy on China. It forces high-tech companies to cooperate with the CCP’s internet censorship and Great Firewall, coerces and incentivizes many in overseas Chinese communities to serve as fifth columnists, and infiltrates Western think tanks and academic departments. It manipulates these institutions into exercising self-censorship on sensitive topics, effectively adopting the stand of the Communist Party. Chinese companies, which are controlled or influenced by the CCP, have been investing heavily in Hollywood.

While developing its influence in various countries to envelop and contain the United States on one hand, on the other, it establishes hidden strongholds on American soil so that it can undermine the United States from within. It has built an extensive network of agents and has fostered splits in U.S. society, posing a serious internal threat.

d. The CCP Incites Anti-U.S. Hatred to Prepare for War With America

The CCP’s ideology runs on hatred. The patriotism it promotes entails hating Japan, hating Taiwan, hating Tibetans, hating the ethnic minorities of Xinjiang, hating religious believers, hating dissidents, and most importantly, hating the United States. There is a saying among Chinese netizens: “For small problems, blame Japan, and for big ones, blame the United States.” This means that by inciting hatred against foreign foes, the Party helps smooth over public outrage during a crisis.

Before the Chinese communists seized power, they repeatedly praised the United States for its friendship with China and for the American democratic system. However, after the CCP set up its regime, it immediately took advantage of the suffering China had experienced in modern history, as well as the eagerness of the people to have a strong nation. The CCP painted itself as China’s savior by stoking hatred against America and other foreign countries.

In fact, the CCP does not care about the lives and deaths of the Chinese people, nor does it care about China’s territorial integrity or the sustainable long-term development of the Chinese nation. It is impossible to describe the evilness of how the CCP has persecuted the Chinese people, betrayed China’s sovereignty, destroyed Chinese morality and traditional culture, and squandered China’s future.

By inciting hatred of foreign countries, the CCP’s aims are, first, to paint itself as a savior so as to legitimize its brutal rule; second, to use nationalist sentiment to divert public attention in times of crisis; third, to build support for the Party’s expansionist ambitions and base schemes as being a means of “rectifying” the humiliations of modern times; and fourth, to use hatred to create the psychological preparedness needed for future wars and to desensitize the public to acts of barbarity.

The CCP has indoctrinated the younger generation with hatred of the United States in order to use them as its tools in the effort to supersede America and dominate the world. When the time comes, the CCP intends to use China’s youth to infiltrate the United States and its allied democratic states in various fashions, participate in all-out armed conflict, wage unrestricted warfare, and, should the need arise, sacrifice themselves in a nuclear holocaust.

The jubilant reactions of the Chinese public following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 indicated that the CCP was making good progress with its propaganda. On major Chinese political and military forums, one commonly sees sentiments like “China and the United States must have a war” — another indication of the CCP’s success in educating people to hate the United States. This is a long-term, gradual mobilization for war, deliberately planned and systematically carried out by the CCP.

The CCP’s hate propaganda is not limited to China’s borders. Internationally, it explicitly or overtly supports rogue regimes and terrorist organizations to fight the United States, providing them with financial assistance, weapons and equipment, theoretical contributions, tactical training, and public support. The CCP has become the head of an axis of anti-American states, and it arrogantly steers the global forces of anti-Americanism.

e. The CCP No Longer Conceals Its Intentions in the Sino–U.S. Relationship

In 2008, while the United States was struggling with an economic crisis, China hosted in Beijing the most expensive Olympic Games in history. Dressed in a costume of prosperity, the regime pushed itself onto the international stage. At the time, as a result of globalization, the U.S. manufacturing industry was in decline. In the face of such economic difficulties, the United States asked China for help. The CCP’s media began to tout, “America is surviving by borrowing money from us Chinese,” “America is going downhill; China is in position to replace it,” and so on. Virtually all of the Party-controlled media in China ran such headlines, and the ideas even became part of popular opinion among Western media and scholars.

Since 2008, America had shown signs of decline in areas such as economic standing, military strength, and political stability. On the economic front, the United States was pushing universal health care, expanding social benefits, placing climate issues at the center of policy, strengthening environmental monitoring, and placing restrictions on traditional manufacturing business. Still, the green energy industry was defeated by made-in-China products, and U.S. manufacturing continued to be hollowed out. There was no way to counter and guard against China’s attacks in trade and intellectual-property theft.

In the face of these trends, many simply accepted as fact the narrative that China was in ascendance and America was in decline. U.S. military spending decreased, and the United States adopted a weak diplomatic stance. On the U.S. political front, socialist ideology was on the rise, social divisions were widening, democratic politics became a showground for partisan squabbling, and government functions were often handicapped as a result. The CCP compared this chaos unfavorably with the focused totalitarianism of its own system, depicting America’s democracy as a laughingstock.

In 2010, China surpassed Japan to become the world’s second-largest economy in the world. In 2014, according to the World Bank’s statistics, if calculated based on purchasing power parity, China’s GDP might have surpassed that of the United States. [4] Seeing that the balance of power between China and the United States appeared to be shifting, and believing that America’s decline was irreversible, the CCP ended its old strategy of hiding its strength and biding its time. Instead, the Party openly and directly took aim at the international order led by the United States. The official stance of the CCP, the media, and experts gradually started to speak unabashedly of an expansionist “China dream.”

In 2012, during its 18th National Congress, the CCP introduced the notion of building a “community of shared future for mankind.” In 2017, the CCP held its Grand Gathering of World Political Parties in order to falsely evoke the ancient imagery of the myriad kingdoms coming to pay their respects at the Chinese imperial court. The CCP went public with its desire to export the communist “China model” to the rest of the world.

In the name of spreading what the CCP calls the “China model,” the “Chinese plan,” or “Chinese wisdom,” the Party’s ambition is to lead the world and establish a new world order in accordance with the Party’s rules. The CCP has been preparing for this in all respects for decades. If this new world order were indeed established, it would present a formidable new axis of evil, an adversary even more threatening to the free world than the Axis alliance during World War II.

2. Communist China’s Strategies for World Domination

a. ‘One Belt, One Road’ Initiative Is Territorial Expansion Under the Guise of Globalization

‘One Belt, One Road’ Takes Center Stage

In 2013, the CCP officially introduced the plan for its Silk Road Economic Belt and Twenty-First-Century Maritime Silk Road, also known as “One Belt, One Road,” or OBOR. The plan is for the Chinese regime to invest trillions of dollars to build critical infrastructure, such as bridges, railroads, ports, and energy facilities, in dozens of countries. It is the biggest planned investment project in history.

“One Belt” refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt, which consists of three land-based components: from China through Central Asia and Russia to Europe and the Baltic Sea; from northwestern China through Central Asia and West Asia to the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean; and from southwestern China through the Indochina Peninsula to the Indian Ocean.

“One Road” refers to the Twenty-First-Century Maritime Silk Road, which is a two-pronged effort: The first route goes from the ports in China to the South China Sea, through the Strait of Malacca and on to Europe via the Indian Ocean; the second heads to the southern Pacific Ocean.

The land-based “One Belt” consists of six economic corridors: the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, the New Eurasian Land Bridge, the China-Central and West Asia Economic Corridor, the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor, the China Pakistan-Economic Corridor, and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor.

The New Eurasian Land Bridge will be based on rail links between China and Europe, called China Railway Express. Transportation from China to Europe takes just over ten days by rail, compared to over thirty days by sea. The China Railway Express began operations in 2011 and has been an important component of OBOR.

The China Pakistan-Economic Corridor is a joint plan by the two governments. It includes a highway connecting Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang Province with Gwadar Port in Pakistan, on the Indian Ocean. China gained the right to operate the port, Pakistan’s gateway to the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, in 2013. The port occupies a critical strategic location, connecting the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of the world’s crude oil passes, to the Arabian Sea.

The general framework of the sea-based “One Road” is to build a number of strategic ports and to gain control over global sea transportation. In financially robust countries, Chinese companies enter into equity participation or joint ventures. With financially weaker countries, China invests large amounts of money locally and attempts to obtain the rights to operate the ports.

In 2013 alone, Chinese enterprises received the rights to operate at least seventeen ports or terminals. China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited bought 49 percent equity from Terminal Link SAS in France. With this purchase, it obtained the operating rights to fifteen terminals in eight countries on four continents. [5]

These ports and terminals include the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge in Belgium; the Suez Canal Terminal in Egypt; Kumport in Turkey; the Port of Piraeus in Greece; Pasir Panjang Port in Singapore; Euromax Terminal Rotterdam, which is called “the gate of Europe,” in the Netherlands; the second-phase terminal at Khalifa Port in the United Arab Emirates; the Port of Vado in Italy; Kuantan Port in Malaysia; the Port of Djibouti in eastern Africa; and the Panama Canal.

In addition to investment, the Communist Party also uses the debt traps created by OBOR to obtain control of strategic locations. Sri Lanka could not pay its debt to Chinese companies, so in 2017, it signed a ninety-nine-year lease with a Chinese company for use of the Hambantota Port.

The CCP launched its Digital Silk Road in 2018 with the intention of reshaping the future development of internet infrastructure. The Digital Silk Road is considered an advanced stage in the OBOR project and is its newest development. It mainly includes building fiber optic infrastructure, digital information services, international telecommunications, and e-commerce.

Many countries involved in OBOR do not have a complete credit system. The CCP aims to introduce its systems of e-commerce and electronic payment services, such as Alipay, to these countries, while totally shutting out Western competition. The Great Firewall, which filters internet traffic in China, is being exported to OBOR countries, as are the systems of mass surveillance already adopted by the CCP for use within China.

The extent of the CCP’s strategic reach can be seen from its investment in global infrastructure. According to a November 2018 report by The New York Times, the CCP has constructed or is constructing more than forty pipelines and other oil and gas infrastructure; more than two hundred bridges, roads and railways; almost two hundred power plants for nuclear power, natural gas, coal, and renewables; and a series of major dams. It has invested in 112 countries, most of which belong to the OBOR initiative. The CCP has spread its tendrils around the globe. [6]

As OBOR took shape, the CCP’s efforts to supplant the United States on the world stage grew. It aggressively promoted the yuan as an international currency, as well as its own credit system. Chinese-made telecommunications networks (including 5G) are being pushed as the future in many countries, as are Chinese-built high-speed rail lines. The aim is to eventually establish a set of standards controlled by the CCP and independent of the current Western standards.

‘One Belt, One Road’ Has a Global Reach

In the early stages of OBOR, the CCP focused on neighboring countries, reaching as far as Europe. Very quickly, the CCP expanded its reach to Africa, Latin America, and even the Arctic Ocean, covering the entire world. The Maritime Silk Road originally consisted of just two routes. A third route, the Polar Silk Road, was added to connect to Europe via the Arctic Ocean. Prior to OBOR, the CCP had already invested heavily in Africa and Latin America. These countries are now part of the major structure of OBOR, which has enabled the CCP to more rapidly expand its financial and military reach in Africa and Latin America.

The primary goal of OBOR is to export China’s excess capacity by building up basic infrastructure such as railways and highways in other countries. These countries are rich in resources and energy. By helping them build infrastructure, the CCP accomplishes two secondary goals. One is to open routes to ship domestic products to Europe at low cost; the other is to secure the strategic resources of countries that participate in OBOR. The CCP’s intention is to increase its own exports, not to help the countries along the Belt and Road to establish their own manufacturing industries — the CCP would not relinquish Chinese manufacturing.

The real ambition behind OBOR is to use economic means as a vanguard to establish control over the financial and political lifelines of other countries and turn them into the CCP’s colonies in its globalist strategy. Byproducts of participation in OBOR schemes include importation of all the pernicious aspects of communism: corruption, debt, and totalitarian repression. The project is a deceptive trap that will not bring lasting economic prosperity to its participants.

Many countries have become alarmed and are either stopping or re-evaluating the OBOR project. The CCP has conceded that it should be more transparent and make adjustments to the heavily criticized debt traps. Nevertheless, the CCP’s plans can’t be underestimated. While Western enterprises operate on profit-seeking principles and won’t tough it out in turbulent host countries for more than a few years, the CCP’s calculus extends into the next century. It can tolerate operations in turbulent international environments for the long term without regard for immediate losses.

What the CCP wants are pro-communist governments that will support it in the United Nations. The CCP wants to become the leader of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, to struggle with the free world, and to replace America as the world’s number one power. The CCP is willing to foot any human costs necessary to achieve this goal. For instance, the Party can force the Chinese people to pay for costs that privately owned Western enterprises could never handle. In this war to conquer the world, it is not about how powerful the CCP is on paper, but that the CCP has at its disposal the resources of hundreds of millions of Chinese people irrespective of their lives or their deaths. They are its sacrificial pawns.

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon offered a unique interpretation of the OBOR project. He credits the Chinese Belt and Road initiative as having successfully integrated the Mackinder-Mahan-Spykman theses of how to dominate the world.

Andrew Sheng, of the Asia Global Institute, summed up Bannon’s views:

Sir Halford Mackinder was an influential British geographer/historian who argued in 1904 that ‘Whoever rules the Heartland (central Asia) commands the World-Island (Eurasia); whoever rules the World-Island commands the World.’ His American contemporary, Alfred Mahan was a naval historian who shaped the U.S. strategy to dominate sea power, extending the British maritime empire logic of controlling the sea lanes, choke points and canals by policing global trade. In contrast, Nicholas John Spykman argued that the Rimland (the coastal lands encircling Asia) is more important tha[n] the Heartland, thus: ‘Who controls the Rimland rules EuroAsia; who rules EuroAsia controls the destinies of the world.’ [7]

Bannon’s assessments reflect the Western world’s growing vigilance against the CCP’s ambitions contained in the OBOR project.

In fact, the CCP’s ambition is not limited to the scope of OBOR. The initiative is not merely focused on obtaining the rights to land routes, sea lanes, and major ports. The CCP wants to take advantage of loopholes, wherever they may be around the world. Many countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America are newly independent states created by decolonization. These regions experienced a power vacuum, inviting the CCP to gain footholds. The newly independent countries that once comprised the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites had weak sovereign control and were also easy pickings for the CCP regime. Other turbulent countries, which Western investors tend to stay away from, naturally fell into the CCP’s trap. Small countries, island countries, and underdeveloped countries occupying strategic locations are all in the CCP’s crosshairs.

Even some states once firmly in the Western democratic camp have drifted into the CCP’s orbit after suffering from weak economies and high debt. Geopolitically, the CCP is gradually surrounding the United States by controlling the economy of other countries. The aim is to have American influence marginalized and eventually removed from those countries, by which time the CCP will have established a separate world order centered on communist tyranny. This is not a new approach. It has its roots in the old CCP strategy of occupying the countryside to surround the cities, which led it to victory in the Chinese Civil War.

b. The CCP’s Great-Periphery Strategy Aims to Exclude the US From the Asia-Pacific Region

What is the CCP’s so-called Great Periphery Diplomacy? Party think tanks define it like this: “China neighbors fourteen countries along a lengthy land border, and looks across the sea at six other neighboring countries. Beyond that, to the east is the Asia-Pacific region, and to the west is Eurasia. That is, the radial extent of China’s extended neighborhood covers two-thirds of international politics, economy, and security. Thus, the framework of periphery diplomacy is more than mere regional strategy. … It is a true grand strategy.” [8]

Australia Is the Weak Link of the Western World

In June 2017, Fairfax Media Limited and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation released the results of their five-month investigation, the documentary Power and Influence: The Hard Edge of China’s Soft Power. The documentary raised concerns around the world by describing the CCP’s widespread infiltration and control over Australian society. [9] Six months later, Sam Dastyari, a member of the Australian Labor Party, announced his resignation from the Senate. Dastyari’s resignation followed accusations that he had accepted money from CCP-linked Chinese merchants for making statements in support of Beijing regarding South China Sea territorial disputes. His statements on this critical issue clashed with the views of his own party. [10]

In September 2016, Australia’s SBS News published a news report revealing political donations by a Chinese businessman intended to influence Australia-China trade policies. [11] Furthermore, in recent years, Chinese state-run media outlets have signed contracts with Australian media, allowing them to broadcast content provided by Chinese media to Australian audiences. [12]

In fact, as early as 2015, Australia allowed a Chinese company with close ties to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to secure a ninety-nine-year lease over the Port of Darwin. The seaport occupies an important military location for guarding against attack from the north. Richard Armitage, a former U.S. deputy secretary of state, said he was stunned by the deal, and that the United States was concerned about the development. [13]

In 2017, a book called Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia, by author Clive Hamilton was rejected three times by Australian publishers due to fear of Chinese repercussions. Finally, following much consideration, the third publisher agreed to publish it. The censorship elicited widespread concern among Australians about China’s influence in their country. [14]

Many more wonder why China has directed so much effort to Australia. What is the military strategic value of the CCP infiltrating Australia and exerting control there?

In December 2017, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) stated in its report Sharp Power: Rising Authoritarian Influence that the Chinese Communist Party is influencing and changing Australian politics and academia by means of bribery and infiltration for the main purpose of weakening the U.S.-Australia alliance. [15]

In its 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, the Australian government said: “The United States has been the dominant power in our region throughout Australia’s post-Second World War history. Today, China is challenging America’s position.” [16] Dr. Malcolm Davis, senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said Beijing was trying to gain a strategic advantage in the Australian region to achieve its final goal of ending Australia’s alliance with the United States. [17]

Australia is the CCP regime’s testing ground for soft-power operations in its strategy of periphery diplomacy. [18] The CCP’s infiltration of Australia dates back to 2005, when Zhou Wenzhong, then deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, arrived in Canberra and informed senior officials at the Chinese Embassy of the CCP’s new diplomatic approach. He said that the first goal of including Australia in China’s greater periphery was to ensure that Australia would serve as a trustworthy and stable supply base for China’s economic growth in the next twenty years. The long-term goal is to pry apart the U.S.–Australia alliance. The mission of those present at the meeting was to understand how the CCP could broadly exert influence over Australia in the spheres of economics, politics, and culture. [19]

The CCP regime uses its economic strength to force Australia to make concessions on a series of military issues and human rights affairs. The standard approach adopted by the CCP to coerce others into cooperation is to cultivate personal relationships via economic interests and simultaneously create the implicit threat of blackmail. [20]

After years of investigation, Clive Hamilton found that “Australia’s major institutions — from our schools, colleges and professional associations to our media; from professions of mining, farming and tourism to military assets of ports and electrical networks; from our local parliaments and state governments to our Canberra parties — are being infiltrated and transformed by a complicated control system under the supervision of CCP.” [21]

Since the 2008 economic crisis, in practice, Australia has proven willing to serve as the CCP’s supply base, due to the common belief that the CCP rescued Australia from the recession. Hamilton says that the reason the CCP’s infiltration and influence can be so effective in Australia is that Australians “have allowed it to happen right under our noses, because we are blinded by the belief that only China can guarantee our economic prosperity, and because we dare not stand up against Beijing’s bullying.” [22]

Despite awareness of the CCP’s infiltration and influence on Western society, and particularly the  CCP’s infiltration and control of overseas Chinese communities, most well-meaning Westerners naively imagined initially that the main purpose of the Party’s strategies was “negative” — that is, to silence the voices of critics and those with different political opinions. However, Hamilton says that behind the “negative” operations are the CCP’s “positive” ambitions: to use ethnic Chinese immigrants to change the frame of Australian society, and to have Westerners sympathize with the CCP so as to allow Beijing to build up influence. In this way, Australia would be transformed into the CCP’s helper in the regime’s goal of becoming an Asian, then global superpower. [23]

Similarly, the CCP is extending its infiltration and control from Australia to New Zealand. Anne-Marie Brady, an expert in Chinese politics at the University of Canterbury, released a report titled Magic Weapons, which takes New Zealand as an example to illustrate how the CCP extends its infiltration and political influence overseas. The report reveals that several Chinese-born members of New Zealand’s Parliament have close links with the CCP and that many politicians have been bribed by massive political donations from rich Chinese merchants and CCP united-front organizations such as Chinese trade associations in New Zealand. [24] Shortly after her report was published, Dr. Brady’s office was broken into. Before the break-in, she also received an anonymous letter threatening her with the words “You are the next one.”  [25]

China is actively roping in New Zealand’s local politicians. For example, members of New Zealand political parties are lavished with cordial treatment on trips to China. Retired politicians are offered high-paying positions in Chinese enterprises, as well as other benefits to have them follow the Party’s directives. [26]

The CCP Targets Pacific Island Nations for Their Strategic Value

Despite their size, Pacific island nations have the critical strategic value of being able to serve as maritime bases. Their total land area is just 53,000 square kilometers (20,463 square miles) compared with their exclusive economic zones (EEZ) over parts of the ocean, which total 19,000,000 square kilometers (7,335,941 square miles) — an area over six times the size of China’s EEZs. Developing greater ties with Pacific island nations is a publicly acknowledged component of the CCP’s military strategy.

Currently, spheres of influence in the Pacific area are divided between the United States, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and France. To develop its maritime capabilities in the Pacific Ocean, the CCP must first build good relations with the island nations, then slowly push out the U.S. presence. [27]

John Henderson, a New Zealand professor, and Benjamin Reilly, a professor in Australia, said that the CCP’s long-term goal in the South Pacific area is to take the place of America as the superpower there. [28] The CCP has invested immense amounts of money in Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia to assist these island nations in constructing infrastructure. It has promoted local tourism and made e-business platforms available. It is outstripping American activity in the area. Ben Bohane, an Australian author, warned that America is losing influence over the Pacific Ocean to China. [29]

Following the CCP’s large-scale financial assistance and investment, the arrogant behavior of its officials reflects the real mentality of the CCP when it is strong and thinks highly of its abilities. It tries to treat the people of other nations the way it treats the Chinese people under its totalitarian control. The CCP’s goal is to demand obedience from countries of inferior strength. Naturally, the CCP cannot be expected to respect international regulations and protocol.

At the APEC summit held in late 2018 in Papua New Guinea, the rude and uncivilized behavior of Chinese officials shocked the locals and those in attendance. Chinese officials bluntly stopped journalists (including those of Papua New Guinea) from interviewing attendees at a forum held between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and leaders of the Pacific island nations. Instead, they demanded that all journalists refer to the Xinhua news release.

To prevent statements condemning the CCP regime’s unfair trade behavior from being written into a joint communique, Chinese officials demanded to meet the Papua New Guinea foreign minister. Since a private meeting with Chinese officials would affect his impartial stance, he turned down the request.

Additionally, Chinese officials resorted to yelling and shouting when they accused other countries of plotting a scheme against China. One high-ranking U.S. official described the CCP officials’ behavior at APEC as “tantrum diplomacy.” [30]

Debt Traps Enable the CCP to Seize Control Over Central Asia’s Resources

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the CCP has taken great efforts to develop and cement its relationship with Central Asian countries, like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The goal of the CCP’s strategy in Central Asia can be viewed from several angles: For one, Central Asia is an unavoidable land route in China’s westward expansion. Further, when China constructs infrastructure to transport goods in and out of China, it can also expand its commercial interests in Central Asia. Secondly, China aims to seize the natural resources, including coal, oil, gas, and precious metals, that are abundant in these countries. Additionally, by controlling Central Asian countries that are geographically and culturally close to Xinjiang, China can tighten its control over ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

Though the CCP has not announced its desire to dominate Central Asia, it has effectively taken up the most influential role in this region. The International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank, released a report in 2013 saying that China has been rapidly growing into an economically dominant power in this region by taking advantage of social unrest in Central Asia. Beijing sees Central Asia as a supply base for raw materials and resources and as a market for its low-priced, low-quality products. Meanwhile, the CCP has also poured millions of U.S. dollars into investment and aid in Central Asia in the name of maintaining stability in Xinjiang. [31]

A huge network of highways, railways, airways, communication, and oil pipelines has closely connected China with Central Asia. The China Road and Bridge Corporation and its contractors have been responsible for the construction of highways, railways, and electricity transmission lines in Central Asia. They pave roads on some of the most dangerous and complex terrain and construct new roads to transport China’s goods to Europe and the Middle East, as well as to ports in Pakistan and Iran. In the two decades between 1992 and 2012, of diplomatic relations between China and the five Central Asian countries, the total volume of trade between China and Central Asia grew one-hundredfold. [32]

In Central Asia, the CCP has promoted investments in large state-run, credit-financed infrastructure projects. Some scholars have realized that such investments could form the basis of a new international order in which China would play a dominant role. Seen from this perspective, Central Asia is another testing ground, like Australia, for the CCP’s conceptual revolution in diplomatic strategy. [33]

Beijing tends to support the corrupt authoritarian leaders of the Central Asian countries, and its opaque investment projects are considered beneficial primarily for the local social elites. The International Crisis Group’s report noted that each of the Central Asian governments is weak, corrupt, and fraught with social and economic unrest. [34] The large infrastructure projects promoted by Beijing are not only linked to massive loans, but also involve official approvals and permits, which are based on vested interests. This gives rise to and worsens the corruption in these regimes.

In Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, the former first secretary of the Communist Party of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic in the USSR, served as the country’s president from the time of independence in 1991 to his death in 2016. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan was under Karimov’s authoritarian rule for another quarter century. In 2005, government forces clashed with protesters in the eastern city of Andijan, resulting in hundreds of deaths. The CCP placed itself as an ally of Karimov, rendering firm support, as usual, to Uzbekistan and other countries in the region in their efforts to safeguard the status quo. [35]

The fragile economic structures of Central Asian countries, in combination with massive infrastructure loans from China, leave these countries especially prone to falling into China’s debt trap. Turkmenistan is suffering from a severe economic crisis, with an annual inflation rate of over 300 percent, unemployment estimated at over 50 percent, severe food shortages, and rampant corruption. Now China is the only customer of Turkmen gas, [36] and also the largest creditor of its foreign debt, which stands at US$9 billion (estimated at 30 percent of GDP in 2018). [37] It’s possible that Turkmenistan had no choice but to give its natural gas fields to China to pay off its debt. [38] This country has put its economic arteries in Beijing’s hands.

Tajikistan borrowed more than US$300 million from China to build a power plant. Unable to pay its debt, the country transferred ownership of a gold mine to China in order to pay off the liabilities. [39]

The Kyrgyz economy is also in danger, as large-scale infrastructure projects carried out by the CCP there also caused it to fall into the debt trap. The country is likely to give part of its natural resources to pay debt. Kyrgyzstan also cooperated with Chinese communications companies Huawei and ZTE to build digital communication tools in order to tighten governmental control over people, while also leaving China a backdoor to extend its surveillance into these countries. [40]

Beijing took advantage of the power vacuum in the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union to enter the Kazakh energy sector. The Kazakh economy depends on its crude oil production, and oil revenue, in U.S. dollars, is used to buy cheap Chinese products. Apart from oil drilling, this nation’s industrial foundation is fragile. With the flow of cheap Chinese products into its market, the Kazakh manufacturing industry collapsed. [41]

Another motive for the CCP’s expansion in Central Asia is to crack down on Uyghur dissidents living in Central Asia. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Charter signed by the China-led SCO allows suspects to be extradited to member countries. A member country can even send their own officials to another member country to conduct an investigation. In this way, the CCP extends its suppression of Uyghurs abroad and arrests Uyghur dissidents who have taken refuge in other countries. [42]

The CCP Uses Pivotal States to Secure Strategic Resources

Implementation of the Communist Party’s peripheral strategy involved first creating pivotal states, which are then used as a base for achieving strategic goals in the entire region. According to the Party’s think tanks, pivotal states are countries that have considerable regional power that Beijing has the capability and resources to guide; they have no direct conflicts with the CCP in terms of strategic interests, and don’t share close interests with the United States. [43] In addition to the aforementioned Australia, Kazakhstan, and others, examples of pivotal countries for the Chinese regime include Iran in the Middle East and Myanmar.

In the Middle East, Iran receives the greatest Chinese investment. Iran is an important oil producer in the region and has been in ideological opposition to the West since the late 1970s, making it a natural economic and military partner for the CCP. Beijing has maintained close economic and military relations with Iran since the 1980s.

In 1991, the International Atomic Energy Agency discovered that the CCP had exported uranium to Iran and that China and Iran had signed a secret nuclear agreement in 1990. [44] In 2002, when Iran’s uranium enrichment project was revealed, Western oil companies withdrew from the country, giving the CCP an opportunity to capitalize on the situation and cultivate closer relations with Iran. [45]

Bilateral trade volume between the CCP and Iran grew exponentially between 1992 and 2011, increasing by more than one hundred times in seventeen years, although there was significant slowdown due to pressure caused by international sanctions on the Iranian regime. [46] Due to the CCP’s assistance, Iran was able to weather the international isolation imposed on it and develop a broad arsenal of short- to medium-range ballistic missiles, as well as anti-ship cruise missiles. The Chinese also provided it with sea mines and fast attack craft, and helped Iran establish a covert chemical weapons project. [47]

Another pivotal state favored by the CCP regime is Myanmar, its neighboring country in South Asia. Myanmar has a long coastline, which provides strategic access to the Indian Ocean. The CCP regards the opening of a China-Myanmar channel as a strategic step to minimizing reliance on the Strait of Malacca. [48] The Burmese military government’s poor human rights record has caused it to be isolated by the international community. The 1988 democracy movement in Myanmar was ultimately crushed with military force. The following year, in Beijing, PLA tanks opened fire on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square.

The two authoritarian governments, both condemned by the international community, found a degree of solace in their diplomatic company and have since enjoyed close relations. In October 1989, Myanmar’s Than Shwe visited China, and the two sides signed a US$1.4 billion arms deal. [49] In the 1990s, there were again many arms deals between the two sides. Equipment the CCP has sold to Myanmar include fighter planes, patrol ships, tanks and armored personnel carriers, anti-aircraft guns, and rockets. [50] The CCP’s military, political, and economic support thus became the Burmese military junta’s lifeline in its struggle for continued survival. [51]

In 2013, the Chinese invested US$5 billion into the China-Myanmar crude oil and gas pipeline, said to be China’s fourth-largest strategic oil-and-gas import conduit. Although it met with strong popular opposition, in 2017, it went into operation with the backing of the CCP. [52] Similar investments include the Myitsone Dam (currently placed on hold due to local opposition) and the Letpadaung Copper Mine. In 2017, bilateral trade between China and Myanmar totaled $US13.54 billion. The CCP is currently planning to create a China-Myanmar economic corridor with 70 percent of the share held by the Chinese side. This includes a deep-water port for trade access to the Indian Ocean, [53] and the Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone industrial park. [54]

c. ‘Divide and Conquer’ in Europe Serves to Create a Split With the United States

In the Cold War, Europe was at the center of the confrontation between the free world and the communist camp. The United States and Western European nations maintained a close alliance via the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. After the Cold War, Europe began to decline in terms of economic and political importance.

In order to drive a wedge between Europe and the United States, the CCP adopted a strategy of dividing and conquering the European countries, by adapting to local conditions to gradually penetrate and develop influence in Europe. In recent years, the differences between Europe and the United States on many major issues have become increasingly apparent. The CCP has had a hand in this.

After the 2008 financial crisis, the CCP exploited the fact that weaker European economies were in urgent need of foreign investment. The CCP injected large sums of money into these countries in exchange for compromises on issues such as international rule of law and human rights. The CCP used this method to create and expand the cracks between European countries, then reaped the benefits. Countries targeted by the CCP included Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Hungary.

After the sovereign debt crisis in Greece, the CCP invested heavily there, exchanging money for political influence, and using Greece as an opening for building more influence in Europe. Within a few years, the CCP obtained a thirty-five-year concession for the second and third container terminals of Piraeus Port, Greece’s largest port, and took over the main transshipment hub at the port.

In May 2017, China and Greece signed a three-year action plan covering railways, ports, airport network construction, power-energy networks, and power-plant investments. [55] The CCP’s investment has already seen political returns. Since 2016, Greece, a member of the European Union, has repeatedly opposed EU proposals that would criticize the Chinese regime’s policies and human rights record. Many potential EU statements to this effect did not materialize. In August 2017, a commentary published by The New York Times said, “Greece has embraced the advances of China, its most ardent and geopolitically ambitious suitor.” [56]

In 2012, the CCP regime launched a cooperation framework with sixteen countries in Central and Eastern Europe called “16+1.” Hungary was the first country to join the initiative and the first European country to sign an OBOR agreement with China. In 2017, bilateral trade volume between China and Hungary exceeded US$10 billion. Like Greece, Hungary has repeatedly opposed EU criticism of the CCP’s human rights abuses. [57] The president of the Czech Republic hired a wealthy Chinese businessman to be his personal adviser and has kept his distance from the Dalai Lama. [58]

Among the sixteen countries included in the framework, eleven are EU countries, and five are non-EU countries. The CCP has proposed a new model of regional cooperation, with the intent—to divide the European Union—being obvious. Additionally, among the sixteen countries, many are former socialist countries. These countries all have a history of communist rule and have preserved many ideological and organizational traces of those regimes. To some extent, conforming to the CCP’s demands comes naturally to them.

There are many small countries in Europe, and it is difficult for any one country to compete with the CCP. The Party has used this to handle each government individually, intimidating them into staying silent on China’s human rights abuses and pernicious foreign policy.

The most typical example is Norway. In 2010, the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee awarded the Peace Prize to an incarcerated Chinese dissident. The CCP quickly took revenge by setting up various obstacles to prevent Norway from exporting salmon to China, as well as causing other difficulties. Six years later, relations between the two countries were “normalized,” but Norway has remained silent on human rights issues in China. [59]

The traditional Western European powers have also felt the growing influence of the CCP. China’s direct investment in Germany has grown substantially since 2010. In 2016 and 2017, China was Germany’s largest trading partner. In 2016, fifty-six German companies were acquired by mainland Chinese and Hong Kong investors, with investment reaching a high of 11 billion euros. These mergers and acquisitions allowed Chinese companies to quickly enter the market and acquire advanced Western technology, brands, and other assets. [60] The U.S. think tank Hoover Institution, in a 2018 report, labeled this the CCP’s “weaponization” investment. [61]

The industrial city of Duisburg in western Germany has become the European transit point for OBOR. Every week, thirty trains filled with Chinese goods come to the city, where they are then transported separately to other countries. The mayor of Duisburg has said that Duisburg is Germany’s “China City.” [62]

In dealing with France, the CCP has long used a strategy of “transaction diplomacy.” For example, when then-CCP dictator Jiang Zemin visited France in 1999, he purchased nearly thirty Airbus aircraft, worth a combined 15 billion francs. This massive sale led the French government to support China’s admission to the WTO. Following the Tiananmen Square massacre, France became the first Western country to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership with China. The French president at the time was the first in the West to oppose criticism of China at the annual conference of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, the first to advocate strongly for the lifting of the EU arms embargo on China, and the first head of a Western government to praise the CCP. [63] In addition, the CCP established large-scale Chinese Culture Weeks in France at an early stage of its expansionary activity as a means of promoting communist ideology under the guise of cultural exchange. [64]

The United Kingdom, traditionally a powerful European country and an important ally of the United States, is also one of the CCP’s most prized targets. On September 15, 2016, the British government officially approved the start of the Hinkley Point C unit nuclear power project, a joint venture between China and a French consortium. Hinkley Point C nuclear power station is a nuclear power plant in Somerset, southwest England, with an installed capacity of 3,200 megawatts.

The project was severely criticized by experts, including engineers, physicists, environmentalists, China experts, and business analysts, who especially referred to the huge hidden dangers to British national security. Nick Timothy, the ex-chief of staff to Prime Minister Theresa May, pointed out that security experts — reportedly inside as well as outside government — “are worried that Chinese people can use their role to build weaknesses in the computer system, which will enable them to shut down British energy production at will.” [65] The Guardian calls this “the ‘dreadful deal’ behind the world’s most expensive power plant.” [66]

As in other parts of the world, the methods the Chinese regime uses to expand its influence in Europe are pervasive and legion. They include acquiring European high-tech companies, controlling the shares of important ports, bribing retired politicians to praise the CCP’s platform, coaxing sinologists to sing the praises of the CCP, penetrating universities, think tanks, and research institutes, and so on. [67] The English-language edition of the CCP-controlled China Daily has a monthly page insert in the long-established British newspaper The Daily Telegraph; the inserts carry articles glorifying the Chinese regime. Beijing pays The Daily Telegraph up to 750,000 pounds a year for the inserts. [68]

The CCP’s activities in Europe have caused great misgivings among researchers. The European Institute of Public Policy, a leading think tank in Europe, published a research report in 2018 exposing the CCP’s infiltration activities in Europe:

China commands a comprehensive and flexible influencing toolset, ranging from the overt to the covert, primarily deployed across three arenas: political and economic elites, media and public opinion, and civil society and academia. In expanding its political influence, China takes advantage of the one-sided openness of Europe. Europe’s gates are wide open whereas China seeks to tightly restrict access of foreign ideas, actors and capital.

The effects of this asymmetric political relationship are beginning to show within Europe. European states increasingly tend to adjust their policies in fits of ‘preemptive obedience’ to curry favor with the Chinese side. Political elites within the European Union (EU) and in the European neighborhood have started to embrace Chinese rhetoric and interests, including where they contradict national and/or European interests. EU unity has suffered from Chinese divide and rule tactics, especially where the protection and projection of liberal values and human rights are concerned. Beijing also benefits from the ‘services’ of willing enablers among European political and professional classes who are happy to promote Chinese values and interests. Rather than only China trying to actively build up political capital, there is also much influence courting on the part of those political elites in EU member states who seek to attract Chinese money or to attain greater recognition on the global plane. [69]

In addition to political, economic, and cultural infiltration in Europe, the CCP has also engaged in various forms of espionage. On October 22, 2018, the French Le Figaro carried the headline “The revelations of Le Figaro on the Chinese spy program that targets France.” Through an exclusive series of special reports, Le Figaro revealed the CCP’s various espionage activities in France. This included how business social-networking websites, especially LinkedIn, were used to recruit French people to provide information to the CCP for the purpose of infiltrating France’s political, economic, and strategic realms, and for gaining extensive insider understanding in specific situations. The report also said that such cases are only the tip of the iceberg of the CCP’s espionage operations in France. [70] The CCP’s purpose is the large-scale plunder of sensitive information regarding the French state and its economic assets. Similar espionage activities have also taken place in Germany. [71]

d. The CCP Exports the ‘Chinese Model’ to Colonize Africa

After World War II, many African countries underwent decolonization, gaining independence. The continent gradually lost the attention of the West, as technology and capital were transferred from Western countries to China. Strengthened by these resources, the Chinese Communist Party then steadily encroached on Africa. The forces of the CCP started replacing what the Western sovereign powers had set up in African countries and infiltrating their politics, economies, and societies.

On one hand, the CCP has wooed African states under the banner of aiding those countries’ development, creating a united front against the United States and other free countries in the United Nations. On the other hand, through economic bribery and military aid, the CCP has relentlessly manipulated African governments and opposition groups, controlling the affairs of African countries while imposing the Chinese model and its values on them.

From 2001 to 2010, the CCP-controlled Export-Import Bank of China supplied US$62.7 billion in loans to African countries. Superficially, the loans did not appear to come with political conditions, and the interest rates on them were relatively low. However, because the loan agreements used natural resources as collateral, the CCP effectively obtained the rights to extract massive amounts of resources from those countries.

In 2003, the loan provided by the Export-Import Bank of China to Angola used crude oil as collateral in what is called the “Angola Model.” The following situation developed: “There are Chinese to drill the oil and then pump it into the Chinese pipeline guarded by Chinese strongmen on its way to a port built by the Chinese, where it is loaded onto Chinese tankers headed for China. Chinese to arm a government committing crimes against humanity; and Chinese to protect that government and stick up for it in the U.N. Security Council.” [72]

In 2016, China became Africa’s biggest trading partner and foreign direct investor. [73] In Africa, the CCP’s management model has been roundly criticized for its many ills: low wages, poor working conditions, shoddy products, “tofu-dreg engineering” (a term referring to the poor workmanship of buildings in China’s Sichuan Province, which led to many deaths following the 2008 earthquake), environmental pollution, bribery of government officials, and other corrupt practices. China’s mining operations in Africa also frequently met with protests from the local people.

Michael Sata, former president of Zambia, said during his presidential campaign in 2007: “We want the Chinese to leave and the old colonial rulers to return. They exploited our natural resources, too, but at least they took good care of us. They built schools, taught us their language, and brought us the British civilization. At least Western capitalism has a human face; the Chinese are only out to exploit us.” [74] In Zambia, Chinese influence can be seen everywhere. Sata was faced with no choice but to make deals with the CCP. Once he gained power, he immediately met with China’s ambassador, and in 2013, he visited China.

Sudan was one of the earliest bases that the CCP established in Africa, and over the past twenty years, the CCP’s investment in the northeastern country has grown exponentially. In addition to Sudan’s abundant oil reserves, its strategic location at the Red Sea was vital to the CCP’s plans. [75] In the 1990s, when Sudan was isolated by the international community because of its support for terrorism and radical Islam, the CCP took advantage and rapidly became Sudan’s largest trading partner, purchasing most of its oil exports. [76] The investment by the CCP helped Bashir’s totalitarian regime survive and develop despite its being contained by the West. The CCP’s military even exported weapons to Sudan during this period, indirectly facilitating the Darfur genocide in Sudan at the beginning of this century.

In the international community, the CCP played a two-faced role: While China sent out a peacekeeping team to the U.N. to mediate the conflict in Sudan, Beijing also openly invited the Sudanese president, a criminal wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, to visit China. The CCP declared that no matter how the world changed, no matter what the situation was in Sudan, that China would always be Sudan’s friend. [77]

The CCP spares few efforts in wooing developing nations. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was established in 2000, with its first ministerial conference held in Beijing. In the subsequent forums that were held during key years, the leaders of the CCP threw money at Africa. In 2000, during the inaugural meeting, then-CCP head Jiang Zemin announced debt relief of 10 billion yuan for the poor countries in Africa. In 2006, when Beijing hosted the first FOCAC summit, the CCP not only announced the relief of debt, as of the end of 2005, for poor African countries it had diplomatic relations with, but also sent over US$10 billion in funding, credit, scholarships, and various aid projects. [78]

In 2015, during the summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, the CCP announced that it would provide capital of US$60 billion to work with African countries to carry out the ten major cooperation plans. [79] On August 28, 2018, the CCP’s vice minister of Commerce noted that “97 percent of products from thirty-three of the least-developed African countries have zero tariffs.” [80] On Sept. 3, 2018, during the China-Africa Cooperation Forum held in Beijing, the CCP again pledged that it would provide Africa with US$60 billion of no-strings-attached aid, interest-free loans, and project-specific capital and investment. At the same time, the CCP promised that for African countries with diplomatic relations with the CCP, it would cancel their inter-government debts that matured at the end of 2018. [81]

After several decades of painstaking effort, through commerce and trade, the CCP gained control over Africa’s economy. By using economic incentives, it has bought off many African governments, such that they follow Beijing’s every instruction. The outside world has noticed how the CCP regime is attempting to conquer Africa, and how it is using Africa as the stage for promoting and advocating the Party’s model. A scholar in the Chinese regime establishment declared: “China’s progress over the past forty years has proven that it doesn’t need to do what the West did to achieve success. History has not ended yet. The impact of this on Africa is beyond what you can imagine.” [82]

In 2015, during the summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, the CCP announced that it would provide capital of US$60 billion to work with African countries to carry out the ten major cooperation plans. [79] On August 28, 2018, the CCP’s vice minister of Commerce noted that “97 percent of products from thirty-three of the least-developed African countries have zero tariffs.” [80] On Sept. 3, 2018, during the China-Africa Cooperation Forum held in Beijing, the CCP again pledged that it would provide Africa with US$60 billion of no-strings-attached aid, interest-free loans, and project-specific capital and investment. At the same time, the CCP promised that for African countries with diplomatic relations with the CCP, it would cancel their inter-government debts that matured at the end of 2018. [81]

After several decades of painstaking effort, through commerce and trade, the CCP gained control over Africa’s economy. By using economic incentives, it has bought off many African governments, such that they follow Beijing’s every instruction. The outside world has noticed how the CCP regime is attempting to conquer Africa, and how it is using Africa as the stage for promoting and advocating the Party’s model. A scholar in the Chinese regime establishment declared: “China’s progress over the past forty years has proven that it doesn’t need to do what the West did to achieve success. History has not ended yet. The impact of this on Africa is beyond what you can imagine.” [82]

Following China, the former prime minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zanawi, established a Five-Year Plan for Ethiopia. The organization and structure of the ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), also bore a striking resemblance to the CCP regime. An anonymous source within the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that many high-level officials in the EPRDP had gone to China to study and undergo training, and that the children of many important officials also went to China for their education. It was even more apparent at the ministerial level, where virtually every official was reading The Selected Writings of Mao Zedong. [83]

In March 2013, at the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit, the Ethiopian prime minister stated that China was both a trading partner and a development model for Ethiopia. Today, Ethiopia is called Africa’s “New China.” Its internet monitoring and censorship, the totalitarian nature of its government, its media control, and the like are all cast in the same mold as China’s. [84]

Ethiopia is not the only example. In 2018, the International Department of the Central Committee of the CCP held the fourth China-Africa Young Leaders Forum and the second China-Latin America Political Parties Forum in Shenzhen, Guangdong. The training was targeted at leaders and government officials.

Yun Sun, co-director of the China Program at the Washington-based Stimson Center, said that this kind of political training was to export the Chinese model to developing countries. She said:

They organized this kind of political training with three objectives in mind. First, that the CCP’s regime is legitimate — it is attempting to tell the world how the CCP has successfully managed China and how this success could be replicated for developing countries. Second, the CCP seeks to promote the experience China had in its development, during the so-called “exchange of ideas on how to govern the country.” Although the CCP is not explicitly “exporting revolution,” it is certainly exporting its ideological approach. The third objective is to strengthen exchanges between China and Africa. [85]

e. Advancing Into Latin America, Encroaching on America’s Backyard

Being geographically close to the United States, Latin America has historically been within America’s sphere of influence. Although a number of socialist regimes appeared in Latin America when the tide of communism swept over the world during the mid-twentieth century, those external influences never posed a threat to America.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the CCP began to target Latin America. Under the banner of “South to South cooperation,” it started to infiltrate all areas of society in the region, penetrating areas like economy, trade, military, diplomacy, culture, and the like. The governments of many Latin American countries, like Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, and Bolivia, were already hostile toward America, and the CCP made full use of this when it extended its tentacles across the ocean, further aggravating the tensions these nations had with America and heightening their anti-American stance.

On one hand, this would weaken the advantage the United States had in the region. On the other hand, the CCP could freely operate in America’s backyard, support the socialist regimes in Latin America, and thus lay the groundwork for long-term confrontation with the United States. It is no exaggeration to say that the CCP’s infiltration and influence in Latin America have far exceeded what the Soviet Union achieved.

First, the CCP used foreign trade and investment to expand its influence in Latin America. According to a report from the U.S.-based think tank Brookings Institution, in 2000, China’s trade with Latin America was only US$12 billion, but by 2013, it had ballooned to US$260 billion, an increase of more than twenty times. Prior to 2008, China’s loan commitments didn’t exceed US$1 billion, but in 2010, it had increased to US$37 billion. [86] From 2005 to 2016, China pledged to loan US$141 billion to Latin American countries. Today, the loans from China have exceeded those from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank combined. The CCP also promised that it would provide Latin America with US$250 billion of direct investment by 2025 and that bilateral trade between China and Latin America would reach US$500 billion. Latin America is currently China’s second-largest investment target, directly after Asia.

For many South American countries, China has dominated foreign trade. The three biggest economies in Latin America — Brazil, Chile, and Peru — have China as their top trading partner. China is the second-largest for Argentina, Costa Rica, and Cuba. With highway construction in Ecuador, port projects in Panama, and a planned fiber-optic cable running from China to Chile, China’s influence throughout Latin America is evident. [87]

All the while, the CCP has deployed its state companies to turn Latin America into its resource base, with examples being Baosteel’s vast investment in Brazil, and the control Shougang has over the iron mines in Peru. The CCP also has shown great interest in Ecuador’s oil and Venezuela’s fuel oil and gold mines.

Additionally, the CCP invests heavily in Latin American infrastructure. In Argentina, the CCP has promised to invest US$25 million in ports that transport food, and to invest US$250 million in highways linking Argentina to Chile. [88]

In the military domain, the CCP has been stepping up its infiltration of Latin America in both scope and depth. Jordan Wilson, a researcher from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, found that since 2000, the CCP has progressed from low-level to high-end military sales, reaching US$100 million in exports by 2010. Especially in the years since 2004, military exports from the CCP to Latin America have been increasing substantially. The recipients of these arms sales were all anti-U.S. regimes, such as Venezuela. At the same time, there has been an increase in military engagement such as training exchanges and joint military exercises. [89]

At the China-Argentina bilateral summit held in Beijing in 2015, if the agreements between both countries were finalized, they would mark a new phase of military cooperation between the two countries. This included the joint production of advanced, high-end products, including the establishment of the CCP’s first space-tracking and control station in the southern hemisphere within the borders of Argentina. It also included the sale of Chinese-made fighter aircraft to Argentina, with the total value amounting to between US$500 million and US$1 billion, exceeding the CCP’s total arms exports of US$130 million in 2014 across the Latin American region.

The CCP is rapidly developing ties with Latin America across diplomatic, economic, cultural, and military dimensions. In 2015, new requirements outlined in a defense white paper by the CCP “specifically assign the PLA [the People’s Liberation Army, the CCP’s military] to ‘actively participate in both regional and international security cooperation and effectively secure China’s overseas interests.’” [90]

On the diplomatic front, due to the CCP’s incentives and threats, Panama, Dominica, and El Salvador have chosen to sever diplomatic ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan) and instead embrace the communist People’s Republic of China. In June 2017, Panama announced that it had established relations with the PRC and ceased diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which had lasted over a century. Three years ago, the CCP started actively planning to invest in Panama’s infrastructure, such as ports, railways, and highways, with the total amount of investment reaching TWD$760 billion (about US$24 billion). [91] China has already acquired control over both ends of the Panama Canal, which is of great international strategic importance.

The CCP has also invested close to US$30 billion in El Salvador’s La Union port. In July 2018, the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Jean Manes, warned in El Salvador’s El Diario De Hoy (Newspaper of Today) that Chinese investment in La Union had a military objective and deserved close attention. [92]

On the cultural front, the CCP has established thirty-nine Confucius Institutes and eleven Confucius Classrooms in Latin America and the Caribbean, with total enrollment exceeding 50,000. [93] Confucius Institutes have been identified as institutions used by the CCP for spying, as well as transmitting Party culture and the ideology of the CCP under the guise of traditional Chinese culture.

The expansion and infiltration of the CCP regime in Latin America is a serious threat to the United States. By using access to the Chinese market, dependence on economic investment and military aid to sway the policies of Latin American governments, China is able to pull them into its own sphere of influence and pit them against the United States. The canals, ports, railways, and communications facilities the CCP builds are all important tools that will be used in the future for expanding and establishing its global hegemony.

f. Communist China Flaunts Its Military Ambitions

At the 2018 Zhuhai Airshow in China, the debut of the CH-7 Rainbow drone caught the attention of military experts. The Rainbow series signifies that China has caught up in the technology for developing armed drones. A large number of CH-4 Rainbows have taken over the military markets of Jordan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan, countries that were restricted from purchasing armed drones from the United States. [94] The latest CH-7 Rainbow, in some ways, is as well-equipped as X-47B, the best the United States has to offer. An observer noticed that the latest CH-7 was revealed at the 2018 Airshow in China before it was tested by the PLA. [95] The video played at the airshow simulated the drones combating the enemy, which was clearly the U.S. military. [96] All of these moves clearly show China’s ambition to challenge the U.S. hegemony.

In recent years, as China’s military power became more developed, its ambition couldn’t stay unnoticed. Chinese vessels followed and harassed a U.S. surveillance ship (USNS Impeccable) in the South China Sea while it was conducting routine operations in international waters [97].

A similar incident took place later in Yellow Sea international waters. The Chinese vessels repeatedly came close to the USNS Victorious. They came within 30 yards of the U.S. ship, forcing it to make a dangerous sudden stop. [98] The most recent incident happened in September 2018, when a Chinese warship conducted aggressive maneuvers warning the USS Decatur to depart the area. The Chinese ship approached within 45 yards of the bow of the American vessel, forcing the Decatur to maneuver to prevent a collision. [99]

The CCP regime revealed its military ambitions long ago. Its strategy is to move from being a land power to being a maritime superpower and eventually establishing hegemony on both land and sea. In 1980, Beijing’s strategy was to perform active defense, and its focus was mainly on defending its own borders. At the time, its main adversary was the Soviet Army. In 2013, Beijing’s frontline defense turned into active offense for the purpose of expanding its frontline. It proposed “strategic offense as an important type of active defense.” [100]

In 2015, a Chinese military theorist and author of Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan to Destroy America made the following statements: “One Belt, One Road policy requires the army to have expeditionary ability.” “The Chinese land forces must take a flying leap and revolutionize itself.” “The national interests that come with One Belt, One Road are an enormous incentive for the Chinese army to reform.” [101] All this fuels Beijing’s aim to become a land-based superpower.

The U.S. Department of Defense said in its Annual Report to Congress in 2018:

China’s maritime emphasis and attention to missions guarding its overseas interests have increasingly propelled the PLA beyond China’s borders and its immediate periphery. The PLAN’s [the Chinese navy] evolving focus — from “offshore waters defense” to a mix of “offshore waters defense” and “open seas protection” — reflects the high command’s expanding interest in a wider operational reach. China’s military strategy and ongoing PLA reform reflect the abandonment of its historically land-centric mentality. Similarly, doctrinal references to “forward edge defense” that would move potential conflicts far from China’s territory suggest PLA strategists envision an increasingly global role. [102]

China’s goal is to first break through the boundaries of the first island chain and head to the open waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans. The first island chain stretches from the Kuril Islands in the north to the islands of Taiwan and Borneo in the south. The chain surrounds the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and the western Pacific Ocean.

The purpose of China’s expansion in the South China Sea was to break through the first island chain. China built islands and militarized reef islets in the South China Sea. It equipped them with airports, shore-based aircraft, and missiles. Currently, three strategically important islets in the South China Sea, namely Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef, and Mischief Reef, have been fortified with anti-ship cruise missiles, surface-to-air missiles, and airfields. The islands have essentially formed stationary aircraft carriers that can be used in the event of military conflict. At the strategic level, the Chinese navy is capable of breaking through the boundaries of the first island chain and has the capability to fight in the open ocean.

Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, said on several occasions that the United States was headed for military conflict with China. “We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to ten years,” he said in March 2016. “There’s no doubt about that.” [103]

Lawrence Sellin, former U.S. Army colonel and military commentator, said: “China is now attempting to extend its international influence beyond the South China Sea by linking to a similar framework for dominance in the northern Indian Ocean. If permitted to complete the link, China could be in an unassailable position to exert authority over roughly one-half of the global GDP.” [104]

The dominance of the South China Sea isn’t an issue of territory, but of global strategy. Each year, close to US$5 trillion in merchandise moves through the South China Sea. [105] For China, its Maritime Silk Road begins with the South China Sea, and an estimated 80 percent of its oil imports are projected to travel via the region. [106] Peacekeeping in the South China Sea following World War II fell to the United States and its allies. This poses a big threat to the Chinese regime, which is preparing to go to war with the United States and deems the South China Sea a key area for its economic growth and military expansion.

Taylor Fravel, the Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), pointed out an interesting fact after figuring out how China has solved its territorial disputes in history. Since 1949, China has engaged in twenty-three territorial disputes with its neighbors. It settled seventeen of these disputes. In fifteen of these settlements, Beijing offered substantial compromises on the allocation of disputed territory. But when it comes to issues in the South China Sea, since the 1950s, even when the Chinese navy was militarily insignificant, it has taken an uncompromising approach and has claimed indisputable sovereignty over the region. China has never used such absolute language to other land disputes. [107]

Apparently, “fighting every inch” isn’t how China solves its border conflicts. Professor M. Taylor Fravel listed several reasons for China’s strong stance on South China Sea (SCS) issues. “China views offshore islands such as the Spratlys as strategic. From these islands, China can claim jurisdiction over adjacent waters that might contain significant natural resources and even jurisdiction over some activities of foreign naval vessels,” he said. “South China Sea outcrops can also be developed into forward outposts for projecting military power. … They might also aid China’s submarine force by preventing other states from tracking Chinese submarines that seek to enter the Western Pacific from the South China Sea.” [108]

The Chinese regime’s aggressive and expansionary actions in the South China Sea, especially the steps it has taken in recent years to change the status quo, have heightened military tensions in the greater region. Japan has reversed a decade of declining military expenditures, while India has revived its stalled plans for naval modernization. [109]

Masking its efforts with the excuse of safe passage for energy and freight, China’s active expansion in the South China Sea has tipped the balance of power in the region and increases the possibility of military conflict. One expert pointed out that “Chinese perception of the SCS as a security concern has led to an erosion of security in the region.” [110] This standpoint echoes that of Bannon.

In 2017, the Chinese military established its first overseas military base in Djibouti. Western scholars believe that Chinese military officials are looking beyond the Western Pacific Region and considering how to project power ever farther abroad. [111] For example, the CCP has recently been active in the Pacific Islands, regardless of the cost of such investments. Its long-term goal is that in the future, these island countries will serve as supply stations for the PLAN’s blue-water fleet. [112] The military expansion of the CCP is not limited to the traditional divisions of land, sea, and air; it is also making advances in the realms of space and electromagnetic warfare.

The CCP’s military ambitions are backed by vast reserves of manpower, equipment, and funding.

The CCP regime maintains the largest army in the world, with two million active military personnel. The People’s Liberation Army also has the largest ground force in the world, the largest number of warships, the third-most naval tonnage, and a massive air force. It has a trinity nuclear strike capability consisting of intercontinental ballistic missiles, ballistic-missile submarines, and strategic bombers.

The Chinese regime also has 1.7 million armed police personnel, who are under the unified leadership of the CCP Central Military Commission, and a large number of reserve and militia units. The Party’s military doctrine has always stressed the importance of “people’s war.” Under the CCP’s totalitarian system, it can quickly redirect all available resources toward military use. This means that the CCP has a pool of over a billion people (including overseas Chinese) from which it can draft huge numbers of people into militia service.

China’s GDP increased rapidly between 1997 and 2007. The CCP relies on economic power to rapidly expand armaments production and upgrade its arsenal. It is estimated that by 2020, the PLA ground forces will have five thousand modern main battle tanks. The PLAN will have at least two aircraft carriers in its fleet. Ninety percent of PLA Air Force fighters are of the fourth generation, and China has begun to introduce fifth-generation fighters.

In early 2017, China announced a 6.5 percent inflation-adjusted increase in its annual military budget to US$154.3 billion. Analysis of data from 2008 through 2017 indicates China’s official military budget grew at an annual average of 8 percent in inflation-adjusted terms over that period. [113] Observers estimate that the CCP’s actual military spending is twice what is officially acknowledged. Aside from this, the military strength of the regime is not fully reflected in military spending because its actual military expenditure is higher than the public figures, and the CCP can requisition many civilian resources and manpower at its discretion. The entire industrial system can serve the needs of war, which means its true military capabilities far exceed official data and the usual estimates.

The CCP will build a global system consisting of more than thirty Beidou (Big Dipper) navigation satellites by the end of 2020, with global GPS military positioning capabilities. The mass production of the Rainbow series of military drones serves more tactical purposes for the CCP. For example, in the Taiwan Strait layout, the CCP may gain advantages through its unmanned aircraft machine-sea tactics. [114] A large number of aerial drones can form clusters under the control of satellites and artificial intelligence, making them useful in regional and asymmetrical conflicts.

The stealth fighter Chinese J-20, which was unveiled at the Zhuhai Air Show, resembles the American F-22, while the Chinese J-31 appears modeled on the F-35. The PLA is closing the gap with the United States in developing modern jet fighters.

In addition, the CCP uses a broad range of espionage to catch up with the United States in technology. According to some recent estimates, more than 90 percent of espionage against the United States conducted via hacking comes from China, and the CCP’s networks infiltrate large American companies and the military, stealing technology and knowledge that the Chinese cannot develop independently. [115] China’s drone technology was stolen from the United States.

In terms of tactics, the PLA is keen on asymmetric capabilities: asymmetric warfare, asymmetric strategy, and asymmetric weapons. [116] Adm. Philip S. Davidson, the new commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, described China as a “peer competitor.” He said that China is not trying to match America’s firepower in a one-to-one ratio; rather, it is trying catch up with the United States by building critical asymmetric capabilities, including the use of anti-ship missiles and capabilities in submarine warfare. He warned that “there is no guarantee that the United States would win a future conflict with China.” [117]

The CCP relied on its research and development of Dongfeng 21D missiles (anti-ship ballistic missiles for use against U.S. aircraft carriers) to conduct similar sniper-mode confrontation. In 2018, the CCP publicly exhibited the land-based Eagle-Attack-12B supersonic anti-ship missile, known as the “aircraft carrier killer.” It has drawn a 550-kilometer “death zone” in the western Pacific, in which American carrier battle groups will be susceptible to ultra low-altitude saturation strikes. These missiles become an important military means of the PLA’s regional denial operations aimed at preventing U.S. military intervention.

Following the rapid expansion of its military power, the CCP regime has become a huge weapons exporter to the world’s authoritarian regimes, such as North Korea and the rogue regimes of the Middle East. On the one hand, the goal is to expand its military alliances, and on the other hand, to disperse and counter U.S. military power. The CCP regime spreads and encourages anti-American sentiment and hatred. It is easy for the CCP to unite with other anti-American regimes to further its hegemonic ambitions.

At the same time, the CCP leadership advocates terrorist military theories such as the aforementioned unrestricted warfare. It advocates the necessity of war by saying that “war is not far from us; it is the birthplace of the ‘Chinese century.’” It legitimizes violence and terror with words such as “the dead are the driving force for the advancement of history.” It justifies aggression with the sayings “there is no right to development without the right to war” and “the development of one country poses a threat to another — this is the general rule of world history.” [118]

Zhu Chenghu, dean of the Defense College of the National Defense University of the People’s Republic of China, publicly stated that if the United States intervenes in a war in the Taiwan Strait, China will preemptively use nuclear weapons to raze hundreds of cities in the United States, even if all of China to the east of Xi’an (a city located at the western edge of China’s traditional boundaries) were destroyed as a consequence. [119] Zhu’s statements were a public display of the CCP’s ambitions and a means of probing reactions by the international community.

It is important to be aware of the fact that the CCP’s military strategies are always subordinate to its political needs, and that the regime’s military ambitions are only a small part of its overall schemes. The Party’s approach is to rely on both economic and military means to impose its communist ideology on the rest of the world. [120]

Chapter SeventeenChapter Eighteen (Part II)


[1] Zhao Kejin, “The Road of Peaceful Development: A Paradigmatic Breakthrough,”, Nov. 11, 2009, [趙可金:〈和平發展道路:模式的突破〉,《人民網》] [In Chinese]

[2] PLA National Defense University et al., Silent Contest, 2013 June, [國防大學等:《較量無聲》] [In Chinese]

[3] “Testimony of Arthur Waldron,” in “U.S.-China Relations: Status of Reforms in China,” Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, April 22, 2004,

[4] Chris Giles, “China Poised to Pass US as World’s Leading Economic Power This Year,”

Financial Times, April 29, 2014

[5] Chen Liangxian and Su Haoyun, “Overseas Ports in Vogue: How Do Chinese Enterprises Choose Strategic Locations?,” The Paper, August 17, 2017, [陳良賢,蘇顥雲:〈海外港口熱:中企如何布局?〉,《澎湃新聞》] [In Chinese]

[6] Derek Watkins, K.K. Rebecca Lai, and Keith Bradsher, “The World, Built by China,” The New York Times, November 18, 2018,

[7] Andrew Sheng, “A Civilizational Clash With China Comes Closer,” Asia Global Institute, The University of Hong Kong, January 16, 2018,

[8] Wu Xinbo, “Reflections on the Study of Neighborhood Diplomacy,” World Affairs, 2015 Issue #2,[In Chinese] [吳心伯:〈對周邊外交研究的一些思考〉,《世界知識》]

[9] “Power and Influence: The Hard Edge of China’s Soft Power,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, June 5, 2017,

[10] “Sam Dastyari Resignation: How We Got Here,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, December 11, 2017,

[11] “In Depth: How Much Influence Do China’s Donations Have on Australia? Should Political Donations Be Banned?,” SBS News, September 12, 2016, [深度:中國捐贈對澳洲影響有多大?外國政治獻金是否該禁?] [In Chinese]

[12] Mareike Ohlberg and Bertram Lang, “How to Counter China’s Global Propaganda Offensive,” The New York Times, September 21, 2016,

[13] Jonathan Pearlman, “US Alarm over Aussie Port Deal With China Firm,” The Strait Times, November 19, 2015,

[14] Tara Francis Chan, “Rejected Three Times Due to Fear of Beijing, Controversial Book on China’s Secret Influence Will Finally Be Published,” Business Insider, February 5, 2018,

[15] Christopher Walker and Jessica Ludwig, “From ‘Soft Power’ to ‘Sharp Power’: Rising Authoritarian Influence in the Democratic World,” in Sharp Power: Rising Authoritarian Influence (Washington, D.C.: National Endowment for Democracy, 2017), 20,

[16] 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, Australian Government, 2017,

[17] Caitlyn Gribbin, “Malcolm Turnbull Declares He Will ‘Stand Up’ for Australia in Response to China’s Criticism,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, December 8, 2017,

[18] Chen Yonglin,  [陳用林] “Chen Yonglin: Australia Is Becoming China’s Backyard?,” The Epoch Times, September 2, 2016, [陳用林:〈陳用林:澳大利亞正在淪為中國的後院〉,《大紀元新聞網》] [In Chinese]

[19] Clive Hamilton. Silent Invasion: China’s influence in Australia (Melbourne: Hardie Grant, 2018), Chapter 1.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Hamilton, Silent Invasion, Chapter 3.

[24] Lin Ping, “Disclosing China’s Sharp Power: Part X, New Zealand,” Radio Free Asia, September 25, 2018, [林坪:〈揭祕中國銳實力(十)紐西蘭〉,自由亞洲電台] [In Chinese]

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Lin Tinghui, “The Dragon in Strange Waters: China’s Diplomatic Quagmire in the Pacific Islands,” Journal on International Relations Issue #30, July 2010, p. 58, [林廷輝:〈龍在陌生海域:中國對太平洋島國外交之困境〉,《國際關係學報》,第三十期(2010年7月)] [In Chinese]

[28] John Henderson and Benjamin Reilly, “Dragon in Paradise: China’s Rising Star in Oceania,” The National Interest, no. 72 (Summer 2003): 94–105.

[29] Ben Bohane, “The U.S. Is Losing the Pacific to China,” The Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2017,

[30] Josh Rogin, “Inside China’s ‘Tantrum Diplomacy’ at APEC,” The Washington Post, November 20, 2018,

[31] China’s Central Asia Problem, Report No. 244, International Crisis Group (February 27, 2013),

[32] Wu Jiao and Zhang Yunbi, “Xi Proposes a ‘New Silk Road’ With Central Asia,” China Daily, September 8, 2013,

[33] Raffaello Pantucci and Sarah Lain, “China’s Eurasian Pivot: The Silk Road Economic Belt,” Whitehall Papers 88, no. 1 (May 16, 2017),

[34] “China’s Central Asia Problem,” International Crisis Group.

[35] “Kong Quan: China Supports Uzbekistan’s Efforts for National Security,”, [〈孔泉:中國支持烏茲別克斯坦為國家安全所做努力〉,人民網] [In Chinese]

[36] Benno Zogg, “Turkmenistan Reaches Its Limits with Economic and Security Challenges,” IPI Global Observatory, July 31, 2018,

[37] Jakub Jakóbowski and Mariusz Marszewski, “Crisis in Turkmenistan: A test for China’s Policy in the Region,” Center for Eastern Studies (OSW), August 31, 2018,

[38] Eiji Furukawa, “Belt and Road Debt Trap Spreads to Central Asia,” Nikkei Asian Review, August 29, 2018,

[39] “Tajikistan: Chinese Company Gets Gold Mine in Return for Power Plant,” Eurasianet, April 11, 2018,

[40] Danny Anderson, “Risky Business: A Case Study of PRC Investment in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan,” The Jamestown Foundation, China Brief 18, no. 14 (August 10, 2018),

[41] Juan Pablo Cardenal and Heriberto Araújo, China’s Silent Army: The Pioneers, Traders, Fixers and Workers Who Are Remaking the World in Beijing’s Image (New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2013), Chapter 2.

[42] Lindsey Kennedy and Nathan Paul Southern, “China Created a New Terrorist Threat by Repressing Secessionist Fervor in Its Western Frontier,” Quartz, May 31, 2017,

[43] Xu Jin et al., [徐進等]  “Making ‘Strategic Pivots’ for China’s Border Security,” World Affairs 2014 Issue #15, pp. 14–23, [徐進等:〈打造中國周邊安全的「戰略支點」國家〉,《世界知識》,2014年15期,頁14-23][In Chinese]

[44] Therese Delpech, Iran and the Bomb: The Abdication of International Responsibility (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006), 49.

[45] Cardena and Araújo, China’s Silent Army, Epilogue.

[46] Seyed Reza Miraskari et al., “An Analysis of International Outsourcing in Iran-China Trade Relations,” Journal of Money and Economy 8, No 1 (Winter 2013): 110–139,

[47] Scott Harold and Alireza Nader, China and Iran: Economic, Political, and Military Relations (Washington, D.C.: RAND Corporation, 2012), 7,

[48] “The Commercial Foundation to Bypass the ‘Malacca Dilemma’: How to Ensure the Effective Operation of the China-Myanmar Oil and Gas Pipelines,” The First Finance Daily, July 22, 2013, [〈繞過「馬六甲困局」的商業基礎——如何保證中緬油氣管道有效運營〉,《第一財經日報》] [In Chinese]

[49] Li Chenyang, “China-Myanmar Relations since 1988,” in Harmony and Development: Asean-China Relations, eds. Lim Tin Seng and Lai Hongyi (Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2007), 54.

[50] Ibid.

[51] “China’s Myanmar Dilema,” Asia Report No.177 (Brussels: International Crisis Group , 2009), 1,

[52] “After Two Years of Inactivity, the China-Myanmar Crude Oil Pipeline Is Finally Opened,” BBC Chinese, April 10, 2017, [〈閒置兩年後 中緬原油管道終於開通〉,《BBC中文網》] [In Chinese]

[53] Zhuang Beining and Che Hongliang, “China-Myanmar Signs the Framework Agreement for the Kyaukpyu Deep-water Port Project,”, November 8, 2018, [莊北甯,車宏亮:〈中緬簽署皎漂深水港專案框架協定〉,《新華網》] [In Chinese]

[54] Lu Cheng, “China-Myanmar Economic Corridor: An Emerging Approach to Myanmar’s Development,” Guangming Net, September 17, 2018, [鹿鋮:〈中緬經濟走廊:緬甸發展的新興途徑〉,《光明網》] [In Chinese]

[55] Lin Ping, “Disclosing China’s Sharp Power,” Part XI, European Politics,” Radio Free Asia, [林坪:〈揭祕中國銳實力(十一)歐洲政界〉,《自由亞洲電台》] [In Chinese]

[56] Jason Horowitz and Liz Alderman, “Chastised by E.U., a Resentful Greece Embraces China’s Cash and Interests,” The New York Times, August 26, 2017,

[57] Ibid.

[58] Jan Velinger, “President’s Spokesman Lashes Out at Culture Minister for Meeting with Dalai Lama,” Radio Praha, October 18, 2016,

[59] Lin Ping, “Disclosing China’s Sharp Power (Part XI), European Politics,” Radio Free Asia, November 5, 2018, [林坪:〈揭祕中國銳實力(十一)歐洲政界〉,《自由亞洲電台》] [In Chinese]

[60] “German Blue Book: China’s Non-Financial Direct Investment in Germany Has Grown Substantially,”, July 9, 2017, [〈德國藍皮書:中國在德國非金融直接投資大幅增長〉,《觀察者網》] [In Chinese]

[61] Chinese Influence and American Interests: Promoting Constructive Vigilance (Stanford, Calif.: Hoover Institution Press, 2018),, 163.

[62] Philip Oltermann, “Germany’s ‘China City’: How Duisburg Became Xi Jinping’s Gateway to Europe,” The Guardian, August 1, 2018,

[63] “Chirac: A Man Who Loved China,” China Net, March 20, 2007, [〈希拉克:熱愛中國的人〉,《中國網》] [In Chinese]

[64] The True Jiang Zemin, Chapter 9, “The War of Greed (Part I),” The Epoch Times [聯合寫作組:《真實的江澤民》,〈第九章 貪戰(上)〉,《大紀元新聞網》] [In Chinese]

[65] Nick Timothy, “The Government Is Selling Our National Security to China,” Conservative Home, October 20, 2015,

[66] Holly Watt, “Hinkley Point: The ‘Dreadful Deal’ behind the World’s Most Expensive Power Plant,” The Guardian, December 21, 2017,

[67] Lin Ping  [林坪] “Disclosing China’s Sharp Power (Part XII) Economic Infiltration in Europe,” Radio Free Asia, November 12, 2018,; “Disclosing China’s Sharp Power (Part XIII) The Encroachment of Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech in Europe,” Radio Free Asia, November 12, 2018, [林坪:〈揭祕中國銳實力(十二)在歐洲的經濟滲透〉,《自由亞洲電台》] [〈揭祕中國銳實力(十三)歐洲學術、言論自由〉,《自由亞洲電台》] [In Chinese]

[68] Jack Hazlewood, “China Spends Big on Propaganda in Britain … but Returns Are Low,” Hong Kong Free Press, April 3, 2016,

[69] Thorsten Benner et al., “Authoritarian Advance: Responding to China’s Growing Political Influence in Europe,” Global Public Policy Institute (GPPI), February 2018,

[70] Christophe Cornevin and Jean Chichizola, “The Revelations of Le Figaro on the Chinese Spy Program That Targets France” [“Les révélations du Figaro sur le programme d’espionnage chinois qui vise la France”], Le Figaro, October 22, 2018, [In French]

[71] “German Spy Agency Warns of Chinese LinkedIn Espionage,” BBC News, December 10, 2017,

[72] Serge Michel and Michel Beuret, China Safari: On the Trail of Beijing’s Expansion in Africa (New York: Nation Books, 2010), 162.

[73] Reuben Brigety, A Post-American Africa,” Foreign Affairs, August 28, 2018,

[74] “Not as Bad as They Say” The Economist, October 1, 2011,

[75] Joseph Hammond, “Sudan: China’s Original Foothold in Africa,” The Diplomat, June 14, 2017,

[76] Zeng Yong, “A Strategic Analysis of China’s Dealing with the Darfur Crisis,” Arab World Studies, November 2012 Issue #6, [曾勇,〈中國處理達爾富爾危機的戰略分析〉,《阿拉伯世界研究》] [In Chinese]

[77] “Beijing Shows Hospitality to the Wanted Sudanese President Bashir,” Radio France Internationale (RFI), June 29, 2011,中國/20110629-北京盛情款待遭通緝的蘇丹總統巴希爾. [〈北京盛情款待遭通緝的蘇丹總統巴希爾〉,《法廣》] [In Chinese]

[78] According to “China’s Path of Peaceful Development” by the Information Office of the State Council, as of 2005, China had waived the debts of forty-four developing countries, totalling about 16.6 billion yuan. [In Chinese]

[79] Pan Xiaotao, “Chinese, Get Ready to Give Out More Money,” Apple Daily, August 31, 2018, [潘小濤:〈中國人,請準備再大撒幣〉,《蘋果日報》] [In Chinese]

[80] “Ministry of Commerce: 97 Percent of Products in 33 Least-Developed Countries in Africa Enjoy Zero Tariffs,” China News, August 28, 2018, [〈商務部:非洲33個最不發達國家97%的產品享受零關稅〉,《中新網》] [In Chinese]

[81] Jia Ao, “China Gives Africa Big Bucks Again and America Gets Alert,” Radio Free Asia, September 3, 2018, [家傲:〈中國再向非洲大撒幣 美國警覺〉,《自由亞洲電台》] [In Chinese]

[82] Quan Ye, “A Dialogue With Wang Wen: From the Theory of Spending Money to the Real Problem Behind the Misconstrued New Colonialism,” Duowei News, September 2, 2018, [泉野:〈對話王文:從撒錢論到「新殖民主義」誤區背後的真問題〉,《多維》] [In Chinese]

[83] Cai Linzhe, “Ethiopia Is Learning the ‘Chinese Model,’” Phoenix Weekly, May 15, 2013, [蔡臨哲:〈埃塞俄比亞學習「中國模式」〉,《鳳凰週刊》] [In Chinese]

[84] Andrew Harding, “Correspondence from Our Reporters: ‘A New China’ in Africa,” BBC Chinese, July 27, 2015, [安德魯‧哈丁:〈記者來鴻:非洲出了個「新中國」〉,《BBC中文網》] [In Chinese]

[85] Si Yang, “To Win the Right to Speak and Export the ‘Chinese Model,’ China Resorts to Different Means in Europe-America and Asia-Africa,” Voice of America, December 7, 2018, [斯洋:〈爭奪話語權,輸出中國模式,中國影響歐美和亞非方式大不同〉,《美國之音》] [In Chinese]

[86] Ted Piccone, “The Geopolitics of China’s Rise in Latin America,” Order From Chaos: Foreign Policy in a Troubled World, November 2016, 4 and 9,

[87] Alfonso Serrano, “China Fills Trump’s Empty Seat at Latin America Summit,” The New York Times, April 17, 2018,

[88] Translated from Chinese version of the paper by Jorge Blázquez-Lidoy, Javier Rodríguez, Javier Santiso, “Angel o demonio? Los efectos del comercio chino en los países de América Latina” [Angel or Demon? The Effects of Chinese Trade in Latin American Countries], [in Spanish].

[89] Jordan Wilson, China’s Military Agreements with Argentina: A Potential New Phase in China-Latin America Defense Relations, U.S-China Economic and Security Review Commission Staff Research Report, November 5, 2015,

[90] Jin Yusen, “The CCP’s Dollar Diplomacy May Be the Last Straw,”, July 5, 2017, [金雨森:〈中共金錢外交恐成為最後一根稻草〉,《看雜誌》] [In Chinese]

[91] Ibid.

[92] “The CCP’s Huge Amount of Financial Aid to El Salvador Causes Anxiety for America,” NTD Television, August 22, 2018, [〈中共巨額金援搶薩爾瓦多 引美國憂慮〉,新唐人電視台] [In Chinese]

[93] Huang Xiaoxiao, “Number of Confucius Institutes in Latin America and the Caribbeans Increases to 39,”, January 26, 2018, [ 黃瀟瀟:〈拉美和加勒比地區孔子學院達39所〉,《人民網》] [In Chinese]

[94] Sharon Weinberger, “China Has Already Won the Drone Wars,” Foreign Policy, May 10, 2018,

[95] Rick Joe, “China’s Air Force on the Rise: Zhuhai Airshow 2018,” The Diplomat, November 13, 2018,

[96] Huang Yuxiang 黃宇翔: “Chinese Drones, Whose Target Is America, Stun the Audience at Zhuhai Air Show,” Asia Weekly, November 25, 2018, Issue #46, Vol. 32, [黃宇翔:〈中國無人戰機驚豔珠海航展亮相假想敵是美國〉,《亞洲週刊》] [In Chinese]

[97] “Pentagon Says Chinese Vessels Harassed U.S. Ship,” CNN, March 9, 2009,

[98] Barbara Starr, “Chinese Boats Harassed U.S. Ship, Officials Say,” CNN, May 5, 2009,

[99] Barbara Starr, Ryan Browne and Brad Lendon, “Chinese Warship in ‘Unsafe’ Encounter With US Destroyer, Amid Rising US-China Tensions,” CNN, October 1, 2018,

[100] Military Strategy Research Department of the Academy of Military Science: Strategic Studies, Beijing: Military Science Publishing House, 2013, p. 47. [軍事科學院軍事戰略研究部:《戰略學》(北京:軍事科學出版社,2013)] [In Chinese]

[101] Qiao Liang, “The ‘Belt and Road’ Strategy Must Take Into Consideration the ‘Going Out’ of Military Power,”, April 15, 2015, [喬良:〈「一帶一路」戰略要考慮軍事力量走出去問題〉,《中國軍網》] [In Chinese]

[102] Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2018, U.S. Department of Defense, May 16, 2018,, 46, 47.

[103] Benjamin Haas, “Steve Bannon: ‘We’re Going to War in the South China Sea … No Doubt,’” The Guardian, February 1, 2017,

[104] Lawrence Sellin, “The US Needs a New Plan to Address Chinese Power in Southern Asia,” The Daily Caller, June 5, 2018,

[105] Panos Mourdoukoutas, “China Will Lose The South China Sea Game,” Forbes, July 1, 2018,

[106] Michael Lelyveld, “China’s Oil Import Dependence Climbs as Output Falls,” Radio Free Asia, December 4, 2017,

[107] M. Taylor Fravel, “Why Does China Care So Much about the South China Sea? Here Are 5 Reasons,” The Washington Post, July 13, 2016,

[108] Ibid.

[109] Brahma Chellaney, “Why the South China Sea Is Critical to Security,” The Japan Times, March 26, 2018,

[110] Scott L. Montgomery, “Oil, History, and the South China Sea: A Dangerous Mix,” Global Policy, August 7, 2018,

[111] Hal Brands, “China’s Master Plan: a Global Military Threat,” The Japan Times, June 12, 2018,

[112] Lin Tinghui, “The Dragon in Strange Waters: China’s Diplomatic Quagmire in the Pacific Islands,” Journal on International Relations, July 2010, Issue #30, p. 58, [林廷輝,〈龍在陌生海域:中國對太平洋島國外交之困境〉,《國際關係學報》第三十期(2010年7月)] [In Chinese]

[113] Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2018, U.S. Department of Defense, May 16, 2018,

[114] Huang Yuxiang, “Chinese Drones, Whose Target Is America, Stun the Audience at Zhuhai Air Show,” Asia Weekly, November 25, 2018, 第32卷 46期,, [黃宇翔:〈中國無人戰機驚艷珠海航展亮相假想敵是美國〉,《亞洲週刊》,2018年11月25日, 第32卷 46期] [In Chinese]

[115] David E. Sanger, “U.S. Blames China’s Military Directly for Cyberattacks,” The New York Times, May 6, 2013,

[116] See in-depth analysis of this issue by Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council, in Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World (New York: Prometheus Books, 2015).

[117] Steven Lee Myers, “With Ships and Missiles, China Is Ready to Challenge U.S. Navy in Pacific,” The New York Times, August 29, 2018,

[118] See San Renxing, “On the Bloody Company’s (CCP’s) Doomsday Mad Gambling,” The Epoch Times [三人行:〈評血腥公司的末日瘋狂賭〉,《大紀元新聞網》] [In Chinese] and; and Li Tianxiao, “If God Wants the CCP to Die, He Will Make It Mad First,” The Epoch Times, [李天笑:〈神要中共亡 必先使其狂〉,《大紀元新聞網》] [In Chinese]

The two speeches allegedly made by the CCP general Chi Haotian (Minister of Defense, 1993-2003), “The War Is Coming to Us” and “The War Is Not Far from Us; It Is the Midwife of the Chinese Century,” appeared on the internet in 2003 and 2005 respectively. While it is difficult to verify their authenticity, critics generally believe that the speeches represent the true mentality of the Chinese Communist Party, and that they were deliberately released to gauge external reactions and intimidate enemies.

[119] Jonathan Watts, “Chinese General Warns of Nuclear Risk to US,” The Guardian, July 15 2005,

[120] Michael Pillsbury was surprised to find that, when Chinese scholars assess the country’s power, military strength accounted for less than 10 percent. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the CCP changed its criteria for evaluating strength and incorporated factors such as economy, overseas investment, technological innovation, and natural resources. Michael Pillsbury, The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower, Chapter 2.