by Philip Lenczycki
The Biden administration is experiencing an uptick of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) spokesmen channeling left-wing talking points aimed at discrediting American institutions.
Seeking to denounce a key Department of Justice (DOJ) counterintelligence program billed to “identify priority Chinese trade theft cases,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, invoked its domestic critics during a recent Jan. 18 presser.
“There is an old Chinese saying to the effect that ‘He who has a mind to frame others can easily trump up some charges’,” said Zhao, echoing critics’ assertions the DOJ harbors “implicit biases” and deliberately engages in “racial profiling” while investigating China Initiative cases.
Launched by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2018, the China Initiative set out to counter “China’s malign behaviors” and identified academia as one of America’s “most vulnerable sectors” to CCP espionage.
However, the China Initiative has since come under fire from Democratic Party politicians, academics, activists and mainstream media outlets.
Among the most vocal of critics are the Chinese American organization Committee of 100, Democratic Rep. Ted W. Lieu, and the Stanford University faculty group, Winds of Freedom.
Ignoring widespread and well-documented cases of CCP espionage across the corporate world, government, and within the ivory towers of academia, during the January presser Zhao parroted critics in claiming “most” China Initiative cases do “not involve intellectual property or trade secrets theft.”
Government reporting on China Initiative cases is imperfect, leaving the program’s inexhaustive data sets, and, consequently, its merits, open to the interpretation of well-intentioned critics and bad actors alike.
Since 2010, CCP spies have been convicted of intellectual property and trade secret theft for helicopters, thermal imaging, stealth cruise missiles, missile guidance applications, space shuttles, radar and satellites, as well as many other acts of espionage.
Citing the Winds of Freedom letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Zhao said, “Nearly 2,000 university scholars across the U.S. signed an open letter to the attorney general in protest of this initiative.”
“Besides, 192 Yale professors wrote and signed a letter to the attorney general pointing out that the strategy has ‘fundamental flaws.’ Over 20 Asian groups wrote to the U.S. President demanding the end of it,” Zhao said. “The United Chinese Americans protested outside the U.S. Department of Justice demanding the end of the initiative.”
The letter cited seeks the termination of the China Initiative by alleging the program “raises concerns of racial profiling,” claiming investigations “disproportionately” target “researchers of Chinese origin.”
The January presser was, in fact, just the latest instance of CCP officials piggybacking upon left-wing polemics.
During a Dec. 15 press conference, state-run China Global Television News (CGTN) cited Democratic Rep. Judy Chu of California in asking Zhao about the China Initiative.
“Advocacy groups say the prosecutions under the ‘China Initiative,’ a scheme launched by the US Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other federal agencies, reflect racial bias that contributed to a 71% rise in incidents of violence against Asian Americans from 2019 to 2020,” CGTN said. “The U.S. government has ‘turned the China Initiative into an instrument for racial profiling,’ says Judy Chu, a Democratic representative from California. Do you have any comment?”
Weaponizing woke rhetoric on race, Zhao said, “The hard work of ethnic minorities in the U.S., including those of Chinese descent, is not paid back with respect and protection but with persistent discrimination and injustice.”
“This runs counter to the values of ‘human rights’ and ‘equality’ that the U.S. has always championed. It is a humiliation to the American democracy,” Zhao said. “The U.S. side should take actions to address its serious problem of racism and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of ethnic minorities including people of Chinese descent.”
Over and above trafficking in left-wing talking points to undermine the China Initiative, the CCP is also recognizing the utility of cloaking itself in the guise of Democratic Party-backed social justice causes in order to deflect scrutiny.
After Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized Beijing’s human rights record during the Biden administration’s first face-to-face with China in March 2021, Director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, Yang Jiechi, angled to realign the CCP with Black Lives Matter against the “systemic racism” domestic activists purport America exhibits.
“We hope that the United States will do better on human rights,” Yang said. “China has made steady progress in human rights and the fact is that there are many problems within the United States regarding human rights, which is admitted by the U.S. itself as well.”
“The challenges facing the United States in human rights are deep-seated. They did not just emerge over the past four years, such as Black Lives Matter. It did not come up only recently,” said Yang. “So we do hope that for our two countries, it’s important that we manage our respective affairs well instead of deflecting the blame on somebody else in this world.”
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Philip Lenczycki is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian” by OneNews CC BY-SA 4.0.