Most conservatives and even liberals will agree that China is a major geopolitical threat to the United States. However, not a lot of people have a clear idea of what strategies our red adversary may use to put us at a tactical disadvantage. We don’t live in an action movie. China isn’t going to send a bunch of paratroopers to suddenly occupy the West Coast. They are far too smart for that. They would prefer to infiltrate us without ever making a headline.
Don’t be too quick to brand me as a conspiracy theorist. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines issued a report warning that the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, is adjusting their focus to influence state and local officials rather than trying to go for the big fishes in Washington, D.C. By doing this, they hope to avoid the heightened scrutiny that Washington power players are under. Instead, they can fly under the radar by casually courting state leaders who are largely unmonitored by the press.
By now, most of us have heard about the compromised relationship between Representative Eric Swalwell and a Chinese spy named Fang Fang. However, you may not remember that Swalwell’s indiscretions did not start when he was elected to Congress. That relationship actually began when he was serving as a city councilman in Dublin, California. The Chinese spy was able to follow Swalwell’s rise to power to the point where she handpicked an intern to be placed in Swalwell’s congressional office. That is just one case study in how the Chinese gain valuable intelligence by forming relationships with local and state officials.
Yet, many of these low-level politicians are still willing to play with fire. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass met with a group called the Chinese People’s Association after being expressly warned by American intelligence that that organization was seeking to influence local officials for the CCP.
If you want to know what China is doing to weaken America, don’t just look up for parachutes or look east to Washington. Instead, look to your city halls and statehouses. You’ll be surprised how far the enemies of freedom have gotten undetected.