The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continued its workman-like pursuit of the ubiquitous threat China represents to the US. The Wednesday, January 31 hearing focused on the cyber threats faced by America, but the committee has been far more forward-thinking in its attempt to present the true picture of the scope of the CCP’s tireless efforts to jeopardize every aspect of life in the States.
Since its beginning a year ago, the select committee’s efforts have brought to the forefront experts in describing what the CCP and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government are doing to tear down America’s institutions, culture, critical infrastructure, and societal norms. For example, during the January 31 hearing, FBI Director Christopher Wray, in his opening statement, put succinctly what the US faces, cautioning:
“The CCP’s dangerous actions, China’s multi-pronged assault on our national and economic security make it the defining threat of our generation…PRC hackers are targeting our critical infrastructure: our water treatment plants, our electrical grid, our oil and natural gas pipelines, our transportation systems, and the risk that poses to every American requires our attention now.”
The message was unmistakable. Knowing what is happening to you isn’t the same as taking action to prevent the consequences. Wray went on to explain that PRC hackers are working diligently to “wreak havoc and cause real-world harm” in our neighborhoods and cities, both large and small. The US is under attack. Bombs and missiles may not be exploding on the streets of American communities, but the result of what is taking place may be just as devastating.
China takes every opportunity to undermine the moral fabric that knits Americans together. The liberties US citizens enjoy, particularly religious freedom, are anathema to the leaders of the PRC. During a recent prayer dinner, Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI), chairman of the House Select Committee on the CCP, made this observation: “The CCP has imprisoned believers en masse. Tortured them. Sent millions of Uyghurs, Falun Gong, and other religious minorities to re-education camps. The genocide against the Uyghur people includes the largest internment of an ethno-religious minority since the Holocaust.”
Americans got a taste of the lengths the PRC was willing to go to when a Beijing balloon boldly went where no CCP intelligence-gathering airship had gone before: across the expanse of the American homeland. The Chinese are not shy about what they are doing. “China has taken every opportunity to undermine the United States and the West, to make us ‘pay’ for access to their markets by stealing our intellectual property, to conduct economic espionage, and to try to keep us out of the Pacific,” former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told the select committee the day before (January 30) during two days of back-to-back hearings.
The Link Between Beijing and the Middle East
Testifying with Secretary Panetta was former Secretary of State in the Trump administration, Michael Pompeo. In his written testimony before the committee, Pompeo portrayed a more ominous part the CCP was playing on the geopolitical stage. He pulled a thread from the growing conflict in the Middle East through to Beijing’s backdoor. “If you want to know how Iran has the capacity to fund proxies across the Middle East, look no further than Beijing: Iran’s oil exports to China have tripled since 2020, and nearly all of its oil exports last year ended up in China,” Pompeo explained. He went on to make the direct link between the PRC and the escalating conflict in the Gulf Region. Pompeo pointed out that the “enrichment of the Ayatollah’s regime is a direct cause of the violence we are now seeing spread across the region.”
China has been caught attempting to buy land next to major US military installations. PRC nationals have infiltrated US Air Force bases, and co-opted Chinese Americans have been convicted of passing sensitive national security secrets to CCP handlers. The vast landscape of the Chinese efforts to bring down the United States economically, militarily, and socially cannot be overstated.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.