The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) poses the central threat of our times, undermining the stability of the world to serve its own hegemonic ambitions. Despite efforts to defend its malign actions, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) under the control of the CCP is not a model world citizen. Dominated by General Secretary Xi Jinping, the CCP is expanding its power and influence at the expense of others in at least six ways:
Predatory Economic Practices
The PRC violates its World Trade Organization commitments and international norms and standards through massive subsidies to favored companies, intellectual property theft, forced tech transfer, and corrupt trade and investment practices. CCP-controlled firms undersell to gain unfair market access. Its One Belt One Road Initiative (BRI or OBOR) preys on other countries via unsustainable and corrupt lending while ignoring global labor and environmental standards. The PRC hurts host economies, undermines rule of law, infringes on sovereignty, unfairly benefits Chinese workers and firms, and applies economic leverage to bully governments on unrelated political and strategic issues.
Military Aggression in the Indo-Pacific Region
The PRC’s Military-Civil Fusion strategy proposes to build the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into a “world class military” by 2049 through appropriation of advanced civilian technology at home and abroad. The PLA seeks to project power by establishing military bases worldwide via BRI and military cooperation deals, both to dominate the Indo-Pacific region and challenge the United States globally. Beijing continues to accelerate its secret nuclear weapons build-up, potentially tripling its arsenal within a decade. From the South China Sea to the Himalayas, Beijing increases the risk of conflict by using its military to bully its neighbors, threaten maritime shipping lanes, and destabilize borders.
Undermining Global Norms and Values
The PRC weakens the global order by ignoring its commitments and manipulating international organizations to advance its own unilateral strategic goals, to include setting up a new international order dominated by the CCP. The PRC routinely introduces language into multilateral documents to advance the party’s authoritarian ideology and policy objectives—and threatens countries that resist. BRI and other PRC initiatives foster corruption, undercut good development, and create unsustainable debt burdens for recipients.
Coercive Tactics Abroad
CCP-controlled media spread propaganda globally while manipulating foreign news and entertainment media to advance its orthodoxy. The CCP’s United Front Work Department and affiliated proxies pressure and co-opt foreign officials at all levels of government, the Chinese diaspora, and business interests to voice support for the CCP’s false narratives and avoid topics the Party considers embarrassing. The CCP’s presence on overseas campuses subverts academic freedom, while undermining the integrity and security of the international research enterprise by enticing foreign researchers to engage in deceptive and illegal activities for the PRC’s economic, scientific, and military gains. The CCP subsidizes PRC-based 5G vendors like Huawei and ZTE, then bullies and bribes foreign countries to select them so the CCP can gain access to personal data, intellectual property, and the controls of critical infrastructure.
Disregard for Human Rights
Driven by Marxist-Leninist ideology and imperialist nostalgia, the CCP silences dissent and restricts the rights and freedoms of Chinese citizens, to include forced population control, arbitrary detention, censorship, forced labor, violations of religious freedom, and pervasive media and internet censorship. The CCP continues to commit abuses against Uyghurs, Christians, and other religious and ethnic minorities. It maintains an iron grip on Tibet while continuing to assert control and silence foreign critics in Hong Kong. The CCP manipulates international organizations, democratically elected governments, and companies to mask its human rights abuses at home and abroad.
The PRC’s environmental record is abysmal. China is the world’s largest annual emitter of greenhouse gases and marine debris; the top builder and funder of dirty coal-burning plants worldwide; the worst perpetrator of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing; and the world’s largest consumer of illegal wildlife and timber products, to name just a few examples. Beijing threatens the world’s economy and public health by unsustainably exploiting natural resources and exporting its reckless disregard for the environment via BRI.
Secretary Speeches on China
The Chinese Communist Party on American Campuses
State Legislatures and the China Competition
Communist China and the Free World’s Future
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The China Challenge