CCP Has ‘Spread Its Tentacles Throughout American Society’: Lawmakers

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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) has urged Washington to strategically decouple from China to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) “vast points of pressure and influence” in the U.S. political system.

“Unfortunately, China and its growing economy have spread its tentacles throughout American society, to the extent that they have a vast and influential lobby in the corridors of power in Washington,” Cotton said on Feb. 16.

In the interview with The Heritage Foundation think tank, the senator gave an example of the CCP’s actions amid tense negotiations with the Trump administration during the U.S.–China trade war. China’s lead negotiator Liu He demanded a meeting with all major Wall Street banks before attending trade negotiations at the White House. The ask was for Wall Street to press the White House and U.S. Congress on favorable trade terms for China.

Such activities need to be called out for what they are, Cotton said.

For a Wall Street bank, a Hollywood studio, a manufacturing company whose production locates in China, or a university president who relies on tuition income from Chinese students, “we need to state publicly that you [they] are, in effect, becoming a lobbyist for the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.

Peter Schweizer, author of “Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win,” previously told The Epoch Times that people should keep in mind that the CCP has many powerful interests in the United States that would lobby on its behalf. Chinese intelligence calls the strategy “elite capture,” he said.

“What they [CCP] have done is essentially adopted a strategy which says, ‘We’re going to co-opt the elites.’ If you can co-opt the elites and the decision-makers in the United States, you are effectively cutting off the head of the person you’re fighting,” he said.

In Schweizer’s view, the CCP has been “very successful” in Washington, Silicon Valley, and Wall Street.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence told The Epoch Times in a written statement, “The CCP has effectively identified the ‘Five Spheres’ of American influence: academia, professional sports, Hollywood, media, and big tech platforms, which they continuously exploit and prey on in an attempt to influence American thinking from within.”

According to Fitzpatrick, other means include “overt and covert manipulation of media, economic coercion, and disinformation campaigns” in the United States.

By Terri Wu

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