From the ports of Taiwan to the hills of Hong Kong, from the mountains of India to the seas of the Philippines, China has used the world’s preoccupation with the coronavirus pandemic to stamp down on dissent and stoke the fears of war. Gordon Chang joined The Cats Roundtable to explain the latest events coming out of Asia, as well as the growing claims that China has already begun to interfere in the November election.
On Sunday, as many as 300 protesters were arrested in Hong Kong. The protesters were arrested under the new national security law implemented in the territory on June 30th, according to Chang.
Chang criticized China’s recent crackdown, as well as Beijing’s response to the coronavirus, which has largely been focused on shifting attention away from the origins of the virus and towards how Beijing has contained it.
“We’re not going to get good reporting out of China,” Chang said, adding that it’s doubtless that China has “not defeated the coronavirus.”
Though the posturing of China seems far off to many Americans, Chang said that it was all but certain that their intentions land close to home.
With the world’s eyes turned toward the November presidential election, Chang told The Cats Roundtable he suspected that China was already meddling in recent events.
With both Iran and Russia also facing accusations of funding the violence that has followed often legitimate protests across the U.S., Chang called for reports that officials in the Chinese consulate in Houston had been contacting organizations, such as Black Live Matters and antifa, to be investigated.
“I’m sure all three are involved in trying to influence the protests, as well as the November 3rd elections, but it’s clear that China’s effort is so much greater than the other two,” Chang noted, adding that China’s efforts “dwarf those of both Moscow and Tehran.”
And the contender China’s rooting for this November couldn’t be more clear, according to Chang.
“I think that Beijing has decided that it’s voting for the Democratic party candidate,” he said.
By whispers or by a gun, Chang told The Cats Roundtable that China will choose the best means to an end, and cover its tracks when it does. Chang explained this was especially true for China’s true military strength.
“Beijing has done its best to try to prevent anyone from getting any sense of size,” Chang said about Beijing’s military capabilities. He cited the unwillingness of China to come to the table to discuss any nuclear arms-control talks.
“I don’t believe Beijing, even if it talked to us—which it’s not—would agree to verification,” he explained.
In the end, Chang told The Cats Roundtable unequivocally that China was “intending to dismember” the current status-quo. He called China’s current posture a “phase of trying to take territory from its neighbors.”
He also warned that China’s recent threats towards Taiwan specifically mirrors the growing disintegration of American “strategic ambiguity” when it comes to China-Taiwan relations. Chang called it a “sea change” that more officials are beginning to “clear public commitment” towards defense of Taiwan.
Finally, Chang returned to the unconfirmed rumors of Kim Jong Un’s health, with reports that have ranged from Un being in a coma, to the North Korean leader being dead. But Chang was certain that Kim Jong Un was quiet because of the coronavirus, which he believed had hit the country hard.
“Things have gone a little bit dark in North Korea,” Chang said. “But we can be sure that something’s going on.”