Even before the fall of the events on Capitol Hill could be debated, digested, and dissected, America’s foes were celebrating. Scenes from Washington this Wednesday reverberated around the world, shocking Americans, stunning US allies and emboldening her adversaries.
Gordon Chang told The Cats Roundtable that America’s enemies, such as China, had begun “unrelenting propaganda assaults against American democracy” in the aftermath of the attack on Capitol Hill.
“Now they’re pointing out that the violence that was at the Capitol is an example of how American democracy is broken,” Chang warned. “That the American republic is over, and that China’s superior form of governance should be the one that prevails around the world.”
Chang has long pointed to the influence of China and Russia in “fomenting violence” for decades, particularly, according to Chang, by infiltrating, funding, and coaching movements such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
The ramping up of Chinese propaganda and influence abroad, Chang stated, is part of a wider aggressive stance at home under Xi Jinping. Chang was particularly concerned about the disappearance of Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, who has not been seen or heard from since a speech he gave in Shanghai on October 31st of last year.
“Apparently Xi Jinping, the Chinese ruler, decided that he was going to shut Jack Ma up,” Chang told The Cats Roundtable, adding the Chinese government had shown a “political determination to get after Jack Ma” and other business leaders who criticized China’s banking system.
While the world reminds blindsided by the pandemic, China has also seized the opportunity to crack down on democratic dissidents at home, with 53 protesters arrested in Hong Kong since a new national security law went into effect on June 30th, 2020.
“This is a wide-ranging crackdown,” Chang told The Cats Roundtable. With Hong Kong Police promising “investigations were continuing and there could be more arrests,” Chang asserted China was now trying to finish what it had started and “completely force Hong Kong to be submissive.”
The aggressive stance out of Beijing isn’t likely to change soon, following amendments to a national defense law that Chang reported looked like “the beginning of a military take over in China.”
“If we thought 2020 was a bad year, 2021, and possibly 2022, are going to be far worse as Beijing demands obedience from everybody,” Chang admonished, adding a Biden administration “will have to deal with this militant, belligerent, provocative China.”
Even before the events on Wednesday, America’s adversaries have been busy. Russian-linked hackers infiltrated US government and commercial networks for months before they were noticed this December. With the full extent of the hack still unknown, Chang told The Cats Roundtable that while it seemed like that infiltration was a “Russian hack,” China and Russia had a history of coordinated attacks against the US.
“This looks like it’s Moscow—it could very well be a joint project with Beijing,” Chang suggested. “There’s a general partnership among various bad actors when it comes to hacking. So although we can trace where the attack came from, it doesn’t necessarily mean that country is the sole actor in the hack.”
Ultimately, Chang argued for decoupling and a rejection of Chinese companies from US markets, citing the security risk and conflicting loyalties of Chinese businesses so long as friction remains between Washington and Beijing, largely stoked by a hostile Chinese leadership.
“We’ve got to get the Chinese companies out of our markets,” Chang advised. “Especially because they are not complying with our securities laws, and also we need to get American companies, American investors out of China’s markets because we should not be enriching a hostile state that is configuring its military to kill Americans.”
Listen to the interview below