China Hacks Us and We Do Nothing

CommentaryChina’s hacking against the United States and United Kingdom, according to officials from the two countries on March 25, includes operations against U.S. government officials, corporations, journalists, and activists, as well as Britain’s election watchdog.The attacks started in 2010 with the goal of harassing critics of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), stealing trade secrets, and spying on political leaders. Fourteen years later, the U.S. and UK governments are still responding with slap-on-the-wrist sanctions against individual entities rather than against China’s economy as a whole. Only the latter approach will get Beijing’s attention and deter the abuse before it spirals into militarized conflict.A clue as to why it took so long to impose even these minor sanctions can be found in a meeting between smiling American CEOs and CCP leader Xi Jinping on March 27. The hypocrisy of U.S. businesses being friendly toward such an adversarial country is perhaps what led Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) to tell them, according to The Wall Street Journal, that “American companies should act like American companies.” He rightly said that we need to “Stop funding our own destruction.”Mr. Gallagher has sounded a rare note of clarity on the China issue since he was first elected to Congress in 2017. Unfortunately, he plans to relinquish his seat in April. The good news is that the Committee on the CCP, which he chaired from its inception, and to stunning effect, will continue. America the institution is not dependent on any single individual, no matter how good.The new chair will be Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.), who is expected to continue the committee’s bipartisan culture while pushing for tariffs on Chinese vehicles that will exceed the current rate of 27.5 percent.Related StoriesU.S. vehicle manufacturers were notably absent from the Beijing meeting on March 27. However, it did include a star-studded group, according to a list released by the China Development Forum, of CEOs and chairpersons from the world’s biggest companies, such as Apple, Exxon Mobil, Trafigura, Shell, TotalEnergies, Mercedes-Benz, HSBC, Pfizer, Nestlé, FedEx, Hitachi, Siemens, Cargill, HP, Bayer, Novartis, Prudential, Swiss Re, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Qualcomm, GlaxoSmithKline, UBS, Michelin, Standard Chartered, Mizuho Financial, L’Oréal, Schneider Electric, Anglo American, SK Hynix, Broadcom, Starbucks, Medtronic, Amway, Micron, Blackstone, Vale, Citadel, Temasek, Danone, Manulife, Deloitte, McKinsey, Bloomberg, Nomura, BCG, Invesco, S&P, PwC, KKR, and Corning, among others.Chasing profit, including in China, is the fiduciary duty of these business leaders to shareholders. However, it should be more thoroughly regulated by law so that the market does not work at cross purposes with the national good. In the case of China, U.S. law should ensure that these and other companies are not used against our democracy by a country that would readily pay billions of dollars to them to undermine the global power and influence of the United States.The gray area comes when these companies, which are quite influential in Washington, use that influence to further the interests of the CCP. That the CCP could increase preferred company profits as compensation for their help in Washington is a major loophole in U.S. laws on foreign influence that is putting American democracy at risk.International organizations—including the World Bank, IMF, and Asian Development Bank—were also represented in Beijing. That so many of the world’s economic and business leaders were in one place, presumably holding their tongues in the presence of Xi to maximize their access, should concern the world’s democracies, against which the CCP is a sworn enemy.Four days before the CEOs met with Xi is a case in point. China’s coast guard fired water cannons at what appears to have been an unarmed supply ship used by the Philippine Coast Guard. In rare footage shot from inside the victimized ship, jets of water are seen ripping into the vessel, breaking windows, and leaving large holes in its interior. Philippine sailors were injured and could have been swept off the boat and drowned. The United States has a mutual defense treaty with the Philippines dating to 1951 but has not yet come to the Philippines’s defense in any substantial way.American politicians in Washington are still not taking the threat from the CCP against ourselves and our allies as seriously as we should. As long as we respond with kid sanctions against low-level operatives instead of all-China economic sanctions, we and our partners will continue to be attacked.Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

China Hacks Us and We Do Nothing

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Commentary

China’s hacking against the United States and United Kingdom, according to officials from the two countries on March 25, includes operations against U.S. government officials, corporations, journalists, and activists, as well as Britain’s election watchdog.

The attacks started in 2010 with the goal of harassing critics of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), stealing trade secrets, and spying on political leaders. Fourteen years later, the U.S. and UK governments are still responding with slap-on-the-wrist sanctions against individual entities rather than against China’s economy as a whole. Only the latter approach will get Beijing’s attention and deter the abuse before it spirals into militarized conflict.

A clue as to why it took so long to impose even these minor sanctions can be found in a meeting between smiling American CEOs and CCP leader Xi Jinping on March 27. The hypocrisy of U.S. businesses being friendly toward such an adversarial country is perhaps what led Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) to tell them, according to The Wall Street Journal, that “American companies should act like American companies.” He rightly said that we need to “Stop funding our own destruction.”

Mr. Gallagher has sounded a rare note of clarity on the China issue since he was first elected to Congress in 2017. Unfortunately, he plans to relinquish his seat in April. The good news is that the Committee on the CCP, which he chaired from its inception, and to stunning effect, will continue. America the institution is not dependent on any single individual, no matter how good.

The new chair will be Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.), who is expected to continue the committee’s bipartisan culture while pushing for tariffs on Chinese vehicles that will exceed the current rate of 27.5 percent.

U.S. vehicle manufacturers were notably absent from the Beijing meeting on March 27. However, it did include a star-studded group, according to a list released by the China Development Forum, of CEOs and chairpersons from the world’s biggest companies, such as Apple, Exxon Mobil, Trafigura, Shell, TotalEnergies, Mercedes-Benz, HSBC, Pfizer, Nestlé, FedEx, Hitachi, Siemens, Cargill, HP, Bayer, Novartis, Prudential, Swiss Re, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Qualcomm, GlaxoSmithKline, UBS, Michelin, Standard Chartered, Mizuho Financial, L’Oréal, Schneider Electric, Anglo American, SK Hynix, Broadcom, Starbucks, Medtronic, Amway, Micron, Blackstone, Vale, Citadel, Temasek, Danone, Manulife, Deloitte, McKinsey, Bloomberg, Nomura, BCG, Invesco, S&P, PwC, KKR, and Corning, among others.

Chasing profit, including in China, is the fiduciary duty of these business leaders to shareholders. However, it should be more thoroughly regulated by law so that the market does not work at cross purposes with the national good. In the case of China, U.S. law should ensure that these and other companies are not used against our democracy by a country that would readily pay billions of dollars to them to undermine the global power and influence of the United States.

The gray area comes when these companies, which are quite influential in Washington, use that influence to further the interests of the CCP. That the CCP could increase preferred company profits as compensation for their help in Washington is a major loophole in U.S. laws on foreign influence that is putting American democracy at risk.

International organizations—including the World Bank, IMF, and Asian Development Bank—were also represented in Beijing. That so many of the world’s economic and business leaders were in one place, presumably holding their tongues in the presence of Xi to maximize their access, should concern the world’s democracies, against which the CCP is a sworn enemy.

Four days before the CEOs met with Xi is a case in point. China’s coast guard fired water cannons at what appears to have been an unarmed supply ship used by the Philippine Coast Guard. In rare footage shot from inside the victimized ship, jets of water are seen ripping into the vessel, breaking windows, and leaving large holes in its interior. Philippine sailors were injured and could have been swept off the boat and drowned. The United States has a mutual defense treaty with the Philippines dating to 1951 but has not yet come to the Philippines’s defense in any substantial way.

American politicians in Washington are still not taking the threat from the CCP against ourselves and our allies as seriously as we should. As long as we respond with kid sanctions against low-level operatives instead of all-China economic sanctions, we and our partners will continue to be attacked.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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