This is the second of two articles examining the deleterious effects of Western – and particularly US – appeasement of the People’s Republic of China since the Nixon-Kissinger trip to Shanghai that “opened China” in February 1972. Part 1 focused on economic, military, and geopolitical results; this part examines the corruption of the US political class.
America’s China policy objectives have been flawed for decades, resulting in the ascendancy of a hyper-aggressive Chinese regime.
Despite the increasing belligerence of the CCP regime since Xi Jinping was tapped by the Chinese Communist Party to lead the PRC in 2012, as well as increasing evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was engineered at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, accommodationists and appeasers in the US and elsewhere are adamant about a return to “business as usual” with the Chinese Communists. Can the Biden regime keep their fingers in the dike and maintain Trump’s tariffs and other measures intended to protect the US against predatory CCP practices? Or will they succumb to the pressures of US business interests, globalists, and the CCP and return to status que ante 2017? Me thinks the CCP will get that for which they have paid, for the US political class – and particularly those in important positions in the Biden regime – has been long purchased by the Chinese Communists.
The corrosive effect of CCP bribery and corruption of the US political class since 1972 is perhaps even more important than the economic, military, and geopolitical results summarized in Part I of this series, for that corruption enabled all of those pernicious results. It could easily be argued that a tougher and more clear-headed US policy aimed at the PRC – one that embraced the reality that the CCP cannot be changed by peaceful means or that Communist China cannot be magically “integrated with the world economy” – would have precluded much if not most of those destructive results from happening. Certainly the world’s collective response to CCP aggression over the past several decades would have been much stronger under decisive US leadership.
But that was not to be, as the CCP began priming the pump with a few strategic investments in the US political class for which the Communists have received massive benefits over the past 50 years. The bribery costs to the CCP over time have been miniscule compared to the benefits gained, for the Chinese are now using our money (continuing record trade surpluses with the US and billions of dollars of foreign direct investments in China), our intellectual property (economic espionage), and our markets (access without strings attached) to achieve their world domination goals.
Corruption and Bribery Begins
Chinese political manipulation of US politicians began with Nixon and Kissinger. In the case of these two, 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 bought-and-paid-for influence agents within the US political class. This leverage the ChiComs well understood, as some have remarked that the Chinese “invented corruption.”
The year 1996 was a good example of CCP 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, as mentioned in Part I of this series.
The Clintons: A Case Study in Corruption. From the public record alone, it is quite apparent that the Chinese have thoroughly corrupted the Clintons. 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
More CCP Corruption of US Political Class Corruption. The Clintons are merely poster children for CCP corruption of the American political class. The CCP has been an “equal opportunity briber,” having corrupted by Democrats and Republicans over the years. Here are several of the 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. Her 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 and married to Elaine Chao (former Trump Transportation Secretary). He has made book with the Chinese, too, as reported here. 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.
- Former Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI). A Republican representative that called for President Trump’s impeachment. Was the CCP leveraging him 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.”
- John Kerry (D). Biden’s “Climate Czar” and former Democrat presidential candidate. Kerry invested $1 million in a Chinese private equity firm, which has “invested in a tech company blacklisted for human rights abuses but is also a major shareholder in a solar panel company linked to labor abuses of the Uyghurs,” according to The Washington Free Beacon.
- Hunter Biden (Joe Biden’s son) 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. Was the CCP buying influence from their fathers?
- Corey Gardner (R-CO). Former Republican senator from Colorado. Gardner refused to endorse President Trump in 2016, was critical of the Trump agenda, and was defeated in his reelection bid in 2020. He recently joined the CCP-linked influence group the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF).
- 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, Joe Biden had been effectively running a mafioso-style family feeding on foreign corruption in Ukraine, China, Kazakhstan, and perhaps other foreign countries.
Biden Give-Aways to the PRC
An astonishing number of Biden’s political appointees are people who have been thoroughly compromised through past ties with the PRC, as summarized here. Given his selection of pro-PRC appointees, is Biden a patsy of the CCP, as suggested here? Are they receiving direct payback for their “investments” in him over the years? The CCP is reaping an incredible reward for decades of bribery of the US political class, with the give-aways by the Biden regime perhaps being the icing on the cake. The Afghanistan debacle (the loss of Bagram Air Base and the world’s largest known lithium reserves) is merely one of a lengthening list that was previously discussed here, including:
- Kowtowing to CCP hostage diplomacy in the release of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou
- Cancellation of the XL pipeline (playing into Chinese growing green industry)
- Facilitating the Chinese regime’s involvement in the U.S. power grid
- Continuing public support for the failed ‘one-China’ policy
- Appointment of a pro-China ambassador to the UN
- Revocation of a ban on CCP propaganda in U.S. universities
- Labeling CCP genocide a “cultural norm”
- Using a CCP sympathizer to oversee the review of Trump-era China policies
- Dropping prosecutions of Chinese nationals accused of espionage
- Giving the CCP a pass on the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 through a politicized report from the US intel community
And these are just some of the better-known players. The list of those compromised by the CCP in the Biden administration, academia, think tanks, and the media is long. Those modest investments by the CCP have been paid back in spades. No wonder the PRC still enjoys “a permanent most favored nation trade status” with the US. No wonder the US Commerce Dept Commerce Control List has been watered down to enable the Chinese shopping spree of cutting-edge dual-use technologies.
No wonder the Biden administration responses to Uighur genocide, the absorption of Hong Kong, and the intimidation of Taiwan and other nations on the PRC’s periphery have been so tepid. And all of this while the PLA is constructing silhouettes in the sand of US Navy ships for target practice “in the Ruoqiang region in central China.” Are the US actions to date a repeat of Stalin’s appeasement of Hitler right up until the day that the German Army invaded Russia in June 1941?
This two-part series examined the economic, military, and geopolitical benefits that have accrued to the PRC in the decades since China was “opened” to the US and the international system in 1972. While the original intent of that misguided policy was to have persuaded the PRC to mitigate its belligerence and hostility and to become more democratic and responsive to the Chinese people and others over time, the result has been virtually the opposite. The policy was naïve from the beginning and nothing more than a green light that generated increasingly one-sided demands from the CCP, culminating in the bellicose pronouncements of Xi Jinping, wolf warrior Chinese diplomats, and state-run Chinese media over the last eight years.
Along the way, the appeasers among the US political class gained careers, wealth and fame while the PRC became the second largest economy in the world, produced the world’s largest navy, continued the practice of genocide on domestic minority groups, intimidated its neighbors, exploited the SAR-CoV-2 for economic gain, and developed a space exploration capability where none had previously existed – all through bribery, coerced tech transfer, mercantilism, and espionage. These are hardly the actions of a peaceful and democratic member of the world’s family of nations.
One must ask the political class: and all this for what? A few pieces of silver and some meaningless awards? It could be argued that the most deleterious result of the appeasement of the PRC over the years has been the thorough corruption of the US political class, which made every other pernicious result possible.
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