28 Apr 2020 More Scrutiny of Chinese Influence Needed
Asked “what do we have to do differently” regarding China policy, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper told former Trump Administration official Sebastian Gorka that there needs to be a lot more oversight of Chinese activities in the United States. From investment in our infrastructure to propagandizing in schools, the government and public need to know a lot more about what this aggressive foreign government is doing inside our borders.
To do this, Horace said we also need to overcome the rhetoric of liberal critics offering options from unnecessary extremes.
“The left tells us we have false choices. One is that we have to go to war. Or two is we have to appear and do nothing,” Horace said on Gorka’s “America First” podcast on the Salem Radio Network.
Horace said that Chinese expansion can be monitored through a more rigorous use of existing oversight mechanisms. He suggested reforming the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process of monitoring international business transactions that may have national security implications. This is the process that was not properly employed when the Obama Administration allowed Russian business interests to obtain inordinate interests in American uranium holdings.
Actually, we can be smart. We need to expand the CFIUS process so that it includes those kinds of more sensitive industries so that Chinese companies can’t come in and purchase them.
Examples of why the government needs to be concerned with Chinese investment are already abundantly clear. While the leadership of Tyson Foods publicly airs concerns about undue strains on the domestic food chain due to coronavirus shutdowns, there has been similar concern over Chinese investment in another meat supplier – Smithfield – that is closing down facilities in what Horace warns could be retribution or worse:
How about investments in companies that manufacture and produce and distribute pork and beef. We’ve got a Chinese company that came in and said “we’re gonna be a silent investor.” And then, all of a sudden, they shut the facility down because Americans are critical of what happened with the Wuhan virus.
We don’t need investors that come in and will be silent – but then, at the strategic moment, shut down facilities and resources. We need to make sure that our transportation, that our energy grid, our technology grid, our health care grid – these things cannot be unduly influenced and controlled by companies that had, well before this crisis, demonstrated an animus toward us.
Chinese influence is also on the rise on college and university campuses through the increasing presence of Confucius Institute programming. Horace said that there needs to be more accounting of China’s spending and influence:
These universities ought to be expected to – first thing – report every penny they have gotten [from China]. And secondly, we should expand the rule that other countries can’t have influence over our education system.
It’s actually a crime to engage in the lobbying of our system, to engage in the media manipulation. We also should expand that so you cannot do the same thing with our educational institutions.