Stephanie Saul’s article for the NY Times Service on Sunday describes Beijing’s use of Chinese students studying abroad and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association as one method for affecting the discussion on campuses in the United States, and elsewhere of Communist China and its policies.
In truth however, Beijing has been constructing these Trojan horses for decades. They take the form of Chinese student organizations, Confucius Institutes, and other organs which offer subtle propaganda to show Beijing’s supposedly kinder, gentler side, its “peaceful rise”.
But make no mistake. China’s aim is to squelch all discussion, all mention, all free speech about its evils. These Trojan horses are in fact filled to the brim with propaganda about how benign is Beijing’s dictatorship, its denial of all freedoms to its people, its oppression of its people, denial of justice, its absolute protection of Chinese companies over foreign companies doing business in China, its anti-democratic policies, hegemony, oppression of Hong Kong, hatred and genocide in Tibet and effort to smear, destroy and replace the Dalai Lama, its murder and abuse of Falun Gong followers, its South China Sea aggression, and its attempts to sideline Taiwan, render it invisible or irrelevant, and destroy Taiwan’s democracy, and most of all its intentions for world peace with Chinese Characteristics (which means peace on its terms, in other words “no peace”, a world led by China’s totalitarian system).
Communist China has vast plans in place to affect perceptions about it around the world, to infect public discourse about its tyranny by whatever means possible. Whether it takes the form of spying through acquisition of businesses (or in the case of Australia, leasing a port in Darwin for more than three hundred million Australian dollars close to an American military installation), or trying to filter any negative mention of China, usually imposing its will on those who fear losing money (as mentioned regarding Australia recently), but certainly true in Europe, Latin America and around the world. Any time a Chinese company (every company no matter private or government run is captive of the Beijing government’s control) attempts to acquire a foreign entity, there is usually a strategic reason for it tied in some way to expanding China’s influence in that area, or infecting the industry or commerce with pro-China influence, or spying.
In Stephanie Saul’s article, when reading it, I felt I was reading not about a student organization, but more about a Communist Chinese platform, a Trojan horse designed to affect free speech on American campuses (something popular these days among the politically correct ultra-left who also seek to squelch discussion of subjects and positions with which they disagree), to basically stop any campus organization or event from even mentioning the Chinese Communist Party’s pet sensitivities, Taiwan, the Dalai Lama and Tibet and China’s longstanding cultural genocide in Tibet, strict limitations on Hong Kong’s democracy, Falun Gong mistreatment and murder in China, Xinjiang’s muslim population and China’s attempts to destroy their culture there. These taboo subjects must be avoided in order to stay within Beijing’s good graces, and disobedience may result in China pulling back students and their foreign student tuition (much as China has done in Taiwan with not just education, but tourists, and business opportunities). The commercial blackmail is one of Beijing’s favorite intrigues.
The Trojan Horse is alive and well in Hollywood as well. Those studios needy enough to take Chinese funding suddenly self-censor so that no movie would dare put Beijing in a bad light (this is ironic considering Hollywood has no problem portraying American Presidents, and government officials, the CIA and FBI, and its military in a very bad light as part of many stories). Those studios selling larger stakes, close to being taken over, well, the censorship will be more direct. As for a Chinese company purchasing a major studio (such as China’s Wanda Group, which already acquired AMC and a piece of Legendary, tried to acquire Dick Clark Productions (including the Golden Globes), and was sniffing around Paramount Pictures), this would be a disaster of tremendous magnitude. Not only would this provide enormous power to the Communist Party regime, allowing it to hobnob with the elite in Hollywood, affecting Hollywood’s discussion of China’s brutality around the world, and its hegemony (Hollywood is quick to hate American government, making it ripe for acceptance of the sales talk by Beijing of its benign intentions), it would open the door to propaganda by the studio in the form of its by then major motion pictures portraying the free world poorly, and Communist China in illusions of grandeur and peace. Also, just to make the plan more horrifying, Beijing currently limits the number of foreign films it allows to be shown in China. A major studio would therefore be better off moving its movie-making to Wanda’s gigantic studio in China, completing the theft of international movie primacy, and killing jobs in Hollywood and the US.
Beijing’s cavalry of Trojan horses is on the march, and it is marching to a college or movie theater near you soon. I ask that you beware, and hold dear our hallowed principles of free speech and constitutional protections for freedom and free speech. Without that protection we are vulnerable to Beijing’s insidious Trojan horse machinations.