OXON HILL, Md. – “China’s already at war with us,”says Peter Schweizer, Government Accountability Institute president and author of “Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win.”
“You asked for a single word answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if we’re going to be at war with China. My view is that China’s already at war with us,” Schweizer said referring to podcast host Liz Wheeler’s question “in our lifetime, are we going to face war with China?”
Schweizer made the comments during a Heritage Foundation panel titled Strengthening America for the China Challenge. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.) The panel was part of Heritage Foundation’s Leadership Summit celebrating the conservative think tank’s 50th anniversary.
“And you can look at fentanyl. I’m doing research in this area right now. Very extensive involvement by the [Chinese Communist Party] in the fentanyl trade, which I’m researching right now. You can look at how they handled COVID,” Schweizer said. “Their efforts to corner the market on masks before they let the world know that it could be transferred from human to human even though they already knew that.”
In my mind, and I would defer to Michael Pillsbury on this because he’s the expert, their mindset is they don’t want a kinetic war with the United States. To paraphrase [Winston] Churchill: “they want the fruits of war. They don’t want war,” and I think they’re already engaging in that behavior.
Wheeler moderated the panel that also included Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas; Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, Center for American Trade at America First Policy Institute chairman; and Michael Pillsbury, Heritage Foundation senior fellow in China Policy.
Roy discussed the influence of the Chinese Communist Party and TikTok, which is facing bipartisan pressure at both the state and federal levels.
“On TikTok, all I’ll say is this: If you put a clean bill in front of me to ban TikTok like straight up, I’m in. I don’t want China to be anywhere near what they’re doing to our kids right now in terms of infiltrating in social media. I’d go further. I think social media is killing our kids,” Roy said. “I don’t think our kids should even be on social media.”
“And I know I’m a limited government federalist, but I was at the Masters last Sunday with my son where they banned iPhones and it was the best day we’ve probably ever had because there was no technology,” Roy said. “We were having conversations with people like it was 1992 again. So, I’d ban TikTok, but I don’t like the [Sen.] Mark Warner bill. I don’t want to empower bureaucrats and the federal government to just go banning all manners of technology because some Democrat and bureaucrat say they know what’s good for us. So, if we’re going to do it, Congress should own it and do it.”
The Heritage Foundation released an extensive paper on March 28 titled “Winning The New Cold War: A Plan for Countering China,” which “describes the ends, ways, and means to secure America’s future while confronting the greatest external threat the U.S. has faced since the collapse of the Soviet Union—the Chinese Communist Party.”
Pillsbury, co-author of the Heritage paper and author of “The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower“, discussed “from the perspective of our foreign policy, what or who is most responsible for allowing the Chinese to get this close to success with their plan.”
“I think … part of the answer is what Sen. Josh Hawley said about the global order, but it’s not just the 90s. He was talking about the 1990s. The idea goes way back into the 1880s, 1890s that somehow there needs to be a global order with a kind of a judge and a jury, and everybody follows the laws. There won’t be any aggression or if there is, it will be punished.”
“This dream, you see a lot in the declassified conversations that Henry Kissinger had with the Chinese back in 1971 and they were very clever. They humored him. They said ‘yes, we just want to be one of the top five countries. Oh by the way, please help us because we’ll be your friend,’” Pillsbury said. “And I’m simplifying, but it’s an over 50-years story when large percentages of the American officials who dealt with China in the 70s, 80s, and 90s became what I would call cheerleaders.”
Pillsbury went on to explain that he was a cheerleader himself.
“I was on the [Ronald] Reagan campaign advisory group, the Reagan transition, and then worked for Reagan in the Pentagon. He sold weapons to China. Mark 46 torpedoes for the Chinese submarine fleet. Artillery. A set of seven weapon systems,” he said. “Where’d the idea come from? I went to see him at his home in Pacific Palisades. I’d just written an article in Foreign Policy Magazine that the ultimate way for us and the Chinese to cooperate to bring down the Soviet Union was not just top secret intelligence sharing, but a weapon sales and Reagan, in a press conference after we met, said yes, he was in favor of that.”
“So, if you’ve got the greatest anti-Communist conservative president of all time, Ronald Reagan, as one of the cheerleaders, do you see what Peter’s referring to? Deep in our government still is the notion that China is our friend. Maybe Xi Jinping shouldn’t be so mean to the Uighurs. Maybe he should rein in the fentanyl money laundering activities, but somehow the Chinese are going to come around again.”
Pillsbury further explained he answered “yes” to Wheeler’s question about war with China.
“In 1950, we had very similar views about China. The U.N. said ‘unify all of Korea.’ We went north. Top secret instructions were sent to [Gen. Douglas] MacArthur: ‘You may continue into northern Korea. Unify the whole country if you don’t detect any signs of Chinese presence.’ There were at that point, we now know there were 300,000 Chinese soldiers inside northern Korea. We didn’t know about it.”
“One account is they stand up in snow suits, white snow suits, and start killing Marines. One of the Marines still alive, I talked to him for my next book … his name is Maj. Patrick Roe. He was the young intelligence officer who first saw the Chinese stand up and he spent the next 40 years of his life writing a book on how it happened, how we were deceived, surprised, unprepared. Thirty thousand Americans get killed.”
Pillsbury added: “That’s why I’m very nervous and scared about the prospects of misperception between the U.S. and China by accident, leading to another war like Korea.”
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