This article is the second of a series examining Communist China, which is an existential threat to the US in every way: military, economic, ideological, and political. The series will include a brief overview of the history of US-China relations, key strategic initiatives of Communist China, the People’s Liberation Army, Chinese Communist (ChiCom) corruption of US institutions, and other specific threats posed by Communist China. Here is a brief history of US-China relations after the Communists took control of China in 1949.
The ChiCom Era Begins. The Communists prevailed in the Chinese civil war, and the Nationalists (Kuomintang) under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek fled to Taiwan (those who could, that is). Mao Zedong declared the establishment of the People’s Republica of China (PRC) on 1 October 1949. The Truman administration nearly abandoned the Nationalists and considered allowing the Communists to take over Taiwan while recognizing the PRC until Mao announced that he would align with the Soviet Union. And so began a period in which US-China relations were effectively frozen until 1971, with an actual hot war being fought between the two countries in Korea in the early 1950s.
Korean War Hostilities and Aftermath. On 25 June 1950, 75,000 North Koreans crossed the 38th Parallel and pushed the combined US/Republic of Korea (ROK) forces back to the so-called “Pusan perimeter” before a successful counterattack could be mounted.
On September 15, however, U.S. Marines made a surprise counter-attack well behind North Korean lines, at the coastal city of Incheon in northwestern South Korea …. This attack became known as the Invasion of Incheon, a turning point in the South Korean army’s power against their North Korean invaders.
The Invasion of Incheon distracted the invading North Korean armies, allowing the South Korean troops to break out of the Pusan Perimeter, and begin to push the North Koreans back into their own country, turning the tide of the Korean War.
The Incheon landing north of Seoul cut the North Korean supply line, and US/UN and remnants of the ROK army pushed the Communists to the far north of Korea along the Yalu River which formed the natural border with the PRC. At that point, the Chinese crossed the Yalu River into North Korea in November 1950 to “save” their North Korean client state. The People’s Liberation Army fought the US-led UN coalition to a standstill until the Armistice was signed at Panmunjom in 1953. According to estimates, about 180,000 Chinese (PRC numbers; other estimates were as high as 500,000 KIA) were killed as opposed to 36,000 Americans KIA and 227,000 South Koreans plus about 3,700 from other UN countries. Total Chinese and North Korean casualties (KIA, wounded, missing, prisoners) were estimated at 1,500,000, with two thirds of those being Chinese.
While the Chinese Communist (ChiCom) leadership has never been shy about sacrificing its people to achieve the “glorious goals of Communism” over the years, nevertheless, suffering 900,000 casualties in a stalemated war on their periphery had to have left a lasting effect on the ChiCom leadership psyche. It could be argued that the Chinese plan for world domination began in earnest after the Korean War. The Chinese if nothing else retain grudges and long-term animosity for their perceived enemies. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, as that is an element of human nature. But there is nothing in Chinese history and culture similar to the ideology of “turning the other cheek” as is found in Western civilization. Rather, the Chinese play the long game, especially against their perceived enemies.
The ChiComs have focused on the US as their “Main Enemy” from the Korean War onward. Mao executed a series of pogroms and social campaigns intended to consolidate ChiCom power on the mainland in preparation for political-military-economic initiatives aimed at elevating Communist China to world leadership roles. The economic reforms of the “Great Leap Forward” in 1958-62 miserably, as “Communist economics” is ultimately an oxymoron. However, but ChiCom total control was extended throughout the country, giving the ChiCom Central Committee respite to devise their plan to replace the US as the world’s sole superpower in every sense.
The Vietnam Era and Aftermath. During the Vietnam War, the ChiCom plan included the use of proxies to diminish the US politically and militarily, including the North Vietnamese, North Korea, and the “Non-Aligned Movement.” Even the United Nations was exploited to advance ChiCom political objectives. The Chinese gave material aid to North Vietnam and North Korea and exerted diplomatic pressure via the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement (the latter were pressured by Chinese “foreign aid contributions”). In 1964, the PRC joined the nuclear club by testing its first nuclear device. Mao’s last major forced reform, the “Cultural Revolution” in 1966-69, was actually a fortuitous event for the US, as it distracted the ChiComs from US actions in nearby Vietnam, but was disastrous for the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people:
Some 1.5 million people were killed during the Cultural Revolution, and millions of others suffered imprisonment, seizure of property, torture or general humiliation. The Cultural Revolution’s short-term effects may have been felt mainly in China’s cities, but its long-term effects would impact the entire country for decades to come. Mao’s large-scale attack on the party and system he had created would eventually produce a result opposite to what he intended, leading many Chinese to lose faith in their government altogether.
Mao allowed President Nixon and Secretary of State Richard Kissinger to “open China” through secret negotiations in 1971 and ultimately granted a state visit to Nixon at the height of the Vietnam War in 1972. This began the Chinese manipulation of the US political class which continues to this very day. The US political class was convinced that the PRC could be peacefully brought into the global system through open trade policies and access to world markets and Western technology. Of equal significance in 1971, the UN General Assembly voted to admit the PRC to the United Nations, after which began the ChiCom corruption of the UN (with the World Health Organization being a key example).
After Mao died in 1976, the US and UN (backed by multilateral corporations) accelerated the push to open and modernize China under the leadership of a succession “moderate” ChiCom leaders, including the diminutive Deng Xiaoping, the principal PRC policymaker from 1978-1989. The PRC was eventually even brought into World Trade Organization in December 2001 as a crowning achievement by the so-called “China hands” – acolytes of Kissinger who facilitated the PRC’s rise while feathering their own nests through ChiCom sinecures and bribes. These enablers included Kissinger’s direct disciples in his consultancy companies, key members in the State Department Bureau of East Asian Affairs over the years, leftwing foundations and thinktanks (e.g., Brookings Institution and Council on Foreign Relations), and various fellow-travelers who touted the “rise of China” in Western legacy media (e.g., Thomas Friedman of The New York Times).
Modernizing China included implementation of “free trade” policies and the off-shoring of US manufacturing facilities to mainland China. These policies created the US “Rust Belt” in the Upper Midwest of the US. The policies were purposeful and executed by multinational corporations with the assistance of key members of the political class (with the “China hands” whispering in their ears along the way). The result was startling:
In December 1978, the new leader of the People’s Republic of China, Deng Xiaoping, announced the country’s own version of the Open Door Policy by literally opening its formally-closed doors to foreign businesses. During the 1980s, Deng Xiaoping’s Special Economic Zones allowed the modernization China’s industry needed to attract foreign investments.
Between 1978 and 1989, China rose from 32nd to 13th in the world in export volume, roughly doubling its overall world trade. By 2010, the World Trade Organization (WTO) reported that China had a 10.4% share of the world market, with merchandise export sales of more than $1.5 trillion, the highest in the world.
In 1978, President Jimmy Carter sent National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski to China to meet with Deng Xiaoping in order to establish full diplomatic relations with the PRC. Carter and Brzezinski threw Taiwan under the bus by recognizing the PRC as the sole government of China and agreeing with longstanding ChiCom propaganda that Taiwan is really “a part of China.” This placed the government of Taiwan in a precarious international political position that continues to this very day. In 1979, the PRC was granted temporary Most-Favored Nation (MFN) status, which has been extended continuously to the present day. This was a boon to the Chinese economy, giving the PRC a favored trade status and direct access to the US economy.
ChiCom Corruption of the US Political Class (1972 – Present). The history of US-China relations would not be complete without discussion of ChiCom influence peddling among the American political class. As previously mentioned, Chinese political manipulation of US politicians began with Nixon and Kissinger. In their case, the leverage was giving them diplomatic prestige for spearheading the rapprochement with China – which was quite a shock to most Americans at the time who were generally hostile to Communists of any variety.
The Chinese were to learn in coming years that much more effective leverage could be used to achieve their ends in the US: bribery and the use of all manner of spies and bought-and-paid-for influence agents. This leverage the ChiComs well understood, as some have remarked that the Chinese “invented corruption.”
The year 1996 was a good example of ChiCom influence in the American political system. The PRC invested nearly $100 million to pay for direct and indirect influence in the 1996 presidential and congressional elections, according to intelligence community estimates at the time. Besides money funneled to the Clinton campaign by Chinese-American bundlers, some of the money also went via cut-outs to the campaigns of chairmen of key committees in Congress that affected US policies with China. One key result was that US Commerce Dept export rules were loosened to allow the exportation of key US technologies that fueled the modernization of the PLA during the 1990s and beyond.
The Clintons: A Case Study in Corruption. From the public record alone, it is quite apparent that the Chinese have owned the Clintons for a long time. There were all kinds of Chinese cash donations to them in the 1990s. Consider the scandal dubbed later as “Chinagate.” From a 2015 report:
Chinagate aka Commercegate is the most serious scandal in U.S. history. It involves the transfer of America’s most sensitive technology, including but not limited to nuclear missile and satellite technology, possibly in exchange for millions of dollars in contributions to the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election effort and the Democratic National Committee.
The details are provided here; the list of names and transactions includes:
- Johnny Chung: $300,000 to the DNC
- John Huang: $3.4 million to the Democrat Party; 78 visits to the White House; worked in Commerce Dept with classified access
- James Riady: $1 million to Clinton’s first campaign (later convicted)
- Maria Hsia: long-time fund-raiser for Algore of Buddhist temple fame ($100K)
- And others, including Lincoln Bedroom “sales”
But the Clinton’s corrupt dealings with the PRC did not end there. They opened an “independent Chinese foundation” in 2014 and received $750K for speeches in 2011 from a “Chinese business group and an entity controlled by the Chinese government,” as reported here.
The ChiComs investments in US politicians always come with strings attached. Here is a short list of what they received from the Clintons:
- A “strategic partnership” which set the tone for various technology transfers to the PRC
- The loss of American manufacturing jobs that were transferred to the PRC as a result of Executive Order 12850, which removed Most-Favored Nation status reviews from Congress to the White House
- Advanced missile technology transfers, which destroyed the US strategic advantage, as noted above and here.
- A satellite launch waiver which allowed the Chinese to launch a Loral Space and Communications satellite, ultimately giving away missile and satellite technology to the ChiComs leading to near-parity with the US in a single generation
Other US Political Class Corruption by the PRC. There is more to the Chinese purchase of US politicians, as has been learned in recent years. Here are several more noteworthy examples (there are many more):
- Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Second most powerful woman in Congress, ranking member of the corrupt Senate Intelligence Committee whose long-time driver/aide/office manager who was a Chinese spy for 30 years! Or was he her handler? Check out husband Richard Blum’s multi-million-dollar Chinese business connections here and here.
- Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Democrat Speaker of the House. Her husband Paul has had long-time business dealings with the Chinese totaling millions of dollars, as noted here.
- Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Senate Minority Leader at present and married to Elaine Chao (former Trump Transportation Secretary). He has made book with the Chinese, too, as reported here. And there are recent reports that the Transportation Dept Inspector General refused to investigate Secretary Chao for ethics concerns about her favoritism to her relatives’ businesses, as noted here.
- Eric Swalwell (D-CA). Swalwell was compromised by money and sex from a ChiCom asset, yet remains a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence to this very day. He has never answered for his corruption.
- Hunter Biden and Chris Heinz (John Kerry’s step-son). These sons of top Democrats inked a deal through the Bank of China for a billion-dollar joint investment venture in 2013. Were the ChiComs buying influence from their fathers? You decide.
- Former Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI). A Republican representative that called for President Trump’s impeachment. Were the ChiComs pulling his strings at the time? He and his family “reported between $100,001 and $1,000,000 in income from a company called Michigan Industrial Tools, which in turn is owned by Dynamic Source International, based in China.”
- Kamala Harris (D-CA). Vice president of the United States. Harris’s husband Douglas Emhoff is a senior partner at DLA Piper, which has significant relationships with China. Here is his DLA Piper biography. DLA Piper’s website advertises their extensive dealing with China.
- Joe Biden (D-DE). President of the United States. Courtesy of Hunter Biden’s emails disclosed by the New York Post, we now know that Joe Biden has been effectively running a mafioso-style family feeding on foreign corruption in Ukraine, China, Kazakhstan, and perhaps other foreign countries. The notion that he will be “tough on China” is absurd. An astonishing number of Biden’s political appointees are people who have been thoroughly compromised through past ties with the PRC, too, as summarized here. Given his selection of pro-PRC appointees, is Biden a patsy of the ChiComs, as suggested here? Are they receiving direct payback for their “investments” in him over the years? You decide.
The Trump Era. Given their deep corruption by the PRC, there is no doubt whatsoever that the political class was against President Trump‘s tariff pressure on China, the US-China trade deal (Phase I implemented and Phase II being negotiated), and other diplomatic and economic pressures that he applied during his presidency. He was the first US president to exert real pushback on Chinese mercantilist and predatory trade practices while attempting to move supply chains out of mainland China and correct the US-China trade imbalance. Then, there was his renegotiation of NAFTA, which closed the automobile loophole that greatly aided Chinese penetration of the US auto market through spare parts and sub-assembly production and delivery especially via Mexico.
In retrospect, it is very easy to ascertain that the ChiComs and Democrat Party political goals in 2020 were completely aligned: to get rid of President Trump at any cost. Joint exploitation of the COVID-19 virus was the vehicle. It should be noted that the Democrats have not condemned the ChiComs for obfuscating the virus’s release and have never blamed them for the virus and its worldwide propagation. Now that both have achieved their desired goal, it remains to be seen how and when the thoroughly corrupted Biden regime will reimplement the pro-PRC policies that predated the Trump administration.
This ends Part II of this series. The next part will examine the PRC’s key strategic initiatives that were initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping when he assumed power in 2013.
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