By Tank Murdoch
(TNS) A retired Air Force brigadier general and expert on China says the U.S. is currently engaged in a “stealth war” with the Communist nation but that its leaders are facing a series of “black swan” events internally that could eventually topple the regime.
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As reported by The Epoch Times, Robert S. Spalding, a former China strategist who was speaking recently at the Global Taiwan Institute, said Beijing’s leaders are struggling to maintain their grip on the country’s massive population in the face of rare, unpredictable events that have the potential to cause severe consequences.
The three black swans are the Trump administration with its insistence on reorienting trade between the two countries, the ongoing Hong Kong protests, and the spreading coronavirus, all of which are putting “extreme pressure on the regime,” Spalding said in a discussion with GTI Executive Director Russell Hsiao.
The news site noted further:
The United States has provided the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with the opportunity to exploit the strengths of Americaâ€™s free and open society by turning those strengths into weaknesses, Spalding said.
That is â€œstealth war,â€ he added.
Americans, despite constitutional First Amendment freedom of speech rights, help the CCP by â€œself-censoring in violation of our own freedoms,â€ Spalding said.
To illustrate, he suggested that American discourse shies away from criticizing or questioning the motives and behavior of Chinese students in the United States. Americans will deny themselves that right rather than speak out against a potential risk.
Knowing the American unwillingness to say something that could be construed as racism, â€œthe CCP uses this as a tool to get what it wants.â€
Thus, the American strength of freedom of speech becomes a weakness in practice, making most Americans reluctant to point a finger at a Chinese student and suggest that he or she â€œmight be taking something sensitive back to China,â€ Spalding said.
Many have described China’s governing system as authoritarian capitalism, but Spalding, a former B-2 bomber pilot, said “it’s far more apt to call it fascism.”
â€œThe means of production are owned by the state,â€ he said, with even private businesses in China co-opted by the Chinese Communist Party because it is â€œthe sovereign of the people.â€
He also noted that U.S. companies have had a hand in helping the Communist regime exert control over the Chinese people, mostly via technology transfers.
“We have given the CCP the means to control their population in a way that no authoritarian power has ever been able to do,” Spalding said, noting that if that trend continues, there “is no hope for Taiwan or the United States.”
He notes that the U.S. should ‘decouple’ from China, a process that is already underway thanks to the policies of the Trump administration.
The Times added:
â€œWe are in a bipolar world â€¦ and executing a decoupling because the Chinese refuse to play by the rules,â€ Spalding said.
Itâ€™s not only rule-breaking, he said. Domestic political involvement, influence, and interference in the United States is also part of the CCPâ€™s playbook.
â€œLook at what Pompeo said at the Governorsâ€™ conference,â€ he said, referencing comments made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the recent National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington.
“Last year, a Chinese Government-backed think tank in Beijing produced a report that assessed all 50 of Americaâ€™s governors on their attitudes towards China. They labeled each of you â€˜friendly,â€™ â€˜hardline,â€™ or â€˜ambiguous,'” Pompeo told the governors.
“Iâ€™ll let you decide where you think you belong. Someone in China already has. Many of you, indeed, in that report are referenced by name.
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â€œAnd, in fact, whether you are viewed by the CCP as friendly or hardline, know that itâ€™s working you. Know that itâ€™s working the team around you.â€
The U.S. military’s most recent National Defense Strategy names China a bigger long-term threat than Russia.
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