Report shows use of semi-secret front groups, influence operations aimed at ‘disintegrating enemies’
hina’s military is using covert political warfare operations to influence U.S. policies and opinions toward Beijing while working to defeat perceived enemies like the United States and Taiwan, according to a report on the sub-rosa activities.
The activities of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Political Department (GPD) include funding pro-China activities abroad, recruiting intelligence sources, spreading propaganda, engaging in media activities, funding front groups that promote Chinese strategy and goals and supporting perceived “friends” of China.
The report is the first public study of Chinese military political warfare and was produced by the Project 2049 Institute, an Arlington, Va. think tank focused on bringing democracy to China and other Asian countries by 2049.
The report identifies one of the PLA political operations as the Sanya Initiative. That initiative brought together retired senior Chinese and U.S. military officers, including former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff retired Adm. Bill Owens, that have lobbied the Pentagon and Congress using the propaganda theme that China poses no threat to the United States.
The Free Beacon first disclosed last year that a draft report by the congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission had identified the Sanya Initiative as linked to the China Association for International Friendly Contact, described in the draft as “a front organization for the International Liaison Department of the PLA General Political Department.”
China’s military also calls its political warfare operations “liaison work.”
“The PLA General Political Department—managed exchanges with foreign senior retired military officers, such as the Sanya Initiative, are only one part of a much broader campaign to manipulate perceptions and policies of foreign governments, particularly regarding Taiwan,” said Mark Stokes, Project 2049 director and co-author of the report.
Stokes said that “for decades, the GPD has effectively conditioned foreign audiences to accept Beijing’s narrow interpretation of One China,” which asserts Taiwan is part of Beijing-ruled China.
“The objective reality is that Taiwan, under its current Republic of China constitution, exists as an independent, sovereign state,” he said. “Two legitimate governments—authoritarian [People’s Republic of China] and democratic [Republic of China]—exist on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.”
Full article: Chinese Military Engaged in Political Warfare Against the United States (Free Beacon)